Israel-Gaza war: China’s top diplomat Wang Yi calls for ‘major countries’ to be fair and impartial

“At the crossroads of war and peace, major countries must adhere to fairness and justice, uphold objectivity and impartiality, demonstrate calmness and rationality, and make every effort to cool down the situation and prevent larger-scale humanitarian disasters.”

Wang said China believed that the “core” of the solution was to “respect Palestine’s right to statehood and self-determination”. He said Beijing was willing to work with all parties to make efforts to that end.

Palestinians flee from Khan Yunis to Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, after the Israeli army called on people to leave certain areas in the city. Photo: AFP
The two sides agreed to maintain communication on the situation in the Middle East.

According to US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, Blinken discussed with Wang his recent trip to the Middle East and Washington’s diplomatic efforts in the region.

“The secretary reiterated the imperative of all parties working to prevent the conflict from spreading,” Miller said.

He also said Blinken had underscored that recent attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels against commercial ships in the Red Sea “pose an unacceptable threat to maritime security and international law that all nations have an obligation to uphold”.

Since the Gaza conflict erupted in October, triggered by an attack on southern Israel by Hamas, Washington has firmly backed Israel’s actions and has pledged military support for its close ally.

US President Joe Biden visited Israel in the weeks following the October attack and, most recently, Blinken also visited and pledged Washington’s support but also urged Israeli officials to avoid massive civilian losses as it continued its military operations.

China, meanwhile, has not condemned Hamas’ actions, with top officials labelling Israel’s retaliation as going beyond self-defence.

Beijing last week released a five-point proposal calling for a “comprehensive ceasefire” and for a “concrete” timeline towards a two-state solution.


Xi Jinping calls for Gaza ceasefire, says two-state solution only option for lasting regional peace

Xi Jinping calls for Gaza ceasefire, says two-state solution only option for lasting regional peace

During Wednesday’s call, Wang also emphasised Beijing’s “solemn stance” on Taiwan and stressed that Washington should not interfere in its internal affairs.

Taiwan – which Beijing views as a renegade province awaiting reunification with the mainland – has been a key issue dividing China and the US. It was among the topics aired during the four-hour meeting between Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in California last month.
Xi told Biden that Taiwan was the most dangerous issue in bilateral ties, warning the US to stop arming the self-ruled island.

The leaders also agreed to resume military-to-military communications during that meeting, in a sign that strained ties between the two superpowers were improving.

Miller, the US State Department spokesman, said Wang and Blinken on Wednesday emphasised the importance of building upon the progress made on key issues during the leaders’ summit.

Wang, according to Beijing’s readout, said the important task now would be to build on the momentum of stabilising US-China ties, and to promote the development of relations in a “healthy, stable and sustainable direction”.

“This is in the common interest of China and the United States, and it is also the responsibility of the two major countries,” he said.


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