Israel-Gaza war: only a two-state solution can bring real peace, China president says in first public speech on conflict

“I have emphasised on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in a two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine,” Xi said.


Where China stands on the Israel-Gaza war

Where China stands on the Israel-Gaza war

He called for an international conference to be convened to build international consensus for peace and to work for a “comprehensive, just and sustained” solution to the question of Palestine as soon as possible.

He also said China had sent humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, including US$2 million in emergency funds through the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority and 15 million yuan (US$2 million) in food and medical supplies via Egypt into the war zone.

“China will provide more supplies and assistance according to the needs of the people,” Xi said.

He said humanitarian corridors must remain secure and open, and more humanitarian assistance allowed in.

“The collective punishment of people in Gaza in the form of forced transfers, or water, electricity, and fuel deprivation, must stop,” he said.

He called on the international community to take practical action to prevent the conflict from spilling over and endangering stability in the region as a whole.

Netanyahu, Hamas chief indicate deal on Gaza truce and hostages is close

It is the first public speech the Chinese president has made about Gaza since the conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted more than a month ago.

But he has addressed the issue in talks with various other leaders on the international stage, including in his meeting with US President Joe Biden in San Francisco last week.

Over the past 50 days, Beijing has repeatedly called for de-escalation and for both parties to pursue a “two-state solution” for an independent Palestine.

In sharp contrast to Western support for Israel, China has avoided condemning Hamas, and instead criticised Israel’s attacks in Gaza, saying they violated international law.

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building belonging to the Rabie family, following Israeli bombardment amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Photo: dpa

China’s positions on Gaza dovetail with its strategy to deepen alliances with non-Western led multilateral groups such as the Brics, while strengthening ties with the Global South.

Throughout the Gaza conflict, it has also highlighted its preference for diplomatic negotiations as the solution, countering the Western narrative of China being a “revisionist power” that undermines the “rule-based international order”.

The delegation – including diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – was in the Chinese capital on the first stop of an international trip to enlist support from the members of the United Nations Security Council for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

“[China] has always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and interests,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the delegation on Monday.


Palestinian death toll over 10,000 in Israel-Hamas war, with Gaza casualty figures in spotlight

Palestinian death toll over 10,000 in Israel-Hamas war, with Gaza casualty figures in spotlight

Tuesday’s Brics virtual summit was hosted by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who holds the presidency of the group, and attended by leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, and UN secretary general António Guterres.

Leaders from Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have been accepted to join the bloc next year, were invited to take part in the discussions.

Brics is a group of emerging economies formed to pursue economic cooperation as well as diplomatic and political dialogue.

Israel recalled its ambassador to South Africa on Monday after the ruling African National Congress, headed by Ramaphosa, said it would support a parliamentary motion to shut down the Israeli embassy in South Africa.

South Africa recalled its diplomats from Israel earlier this month.

Brazil and Russia have both proposed ceasefire resolutions in the UN Security Council. India is the only one of the five Brics members to take a strong pro-Israel stand.

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