China Says Will Increase Involvement in Resolving Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a conference in Beijing in June.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a conference in Beijing in June.Credit: Tingshu Wang / Reuters
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

China plans to increase its involvement in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday.

Speaking at a Zoom conference on the conflict, Wang reiterated his support for a two-state solution and suggested holding negotiations in China, inviting formal representatives of both the Israelis and Palestinians.

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The Israeli participants in the Zoom conference included Meretz lawmaker Michal Rozin, former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, and Gadi Baltiansky, the director-general of the Geneva Initiative, an NGO promoting the two-state solution.

The highest-level Palestinian participant was Ahmad Majdalani, the Palestinian social development minister and senior member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

While relations between Israel and China are friendly, Beijing’s support for the Palestinians has irked some in Jerusalem.

In May, Israel’s Embassy in China protested what it described as “blatant antisemitism” on a program ran by the overseas channel of state broadcaster CCTV discussing the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

During a CGTN broadcast, host Zheng Junfeng questioned whether U.S. support for Israel was truly based on shared democratic values, saying “some people believe that U.S. pro-Israel policy is traceable to the influence of wealthy Jews in the U.S. and the Jewish lobby on U.S. foreign policymakers.”

“Jews dominate finance and internet sectors,” Zheng says, speaking in English. “So do they have the powerful lobbies some say? Possible.”

China is Israel’s third-largest trading partner, following the United States and Europe.

As part of its global Belt and Road initiative, China has sought to involve itself in infrastructure projects in Israel, including the Carmel Tunnels project in Haifa, Tel Aviv’s light rail and the expansion of the Haifa Port.

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