President Xi Jinping's Call for Unity: China Strengthens Ties with Arab Leaders Amid Gaza Crisis

Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed Arab leaders at Beijing forum, emphasizing Gaza conflict, two-state solution, and collaboration with Egypt on humanitarian aid and reconstruction.

President Xi Jinping's Call for Unity: China Strengthens Ties with Arab Leaders Amid Gaza Crisis
Photo Source: Person holding green white and red flag by Ömer Yıldız, via Unsplash, May 14, 2021

31-05-2024

Marina Sáenz

Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

 

In a significant diplomatic effort to strengthen ties with the Arab world and address the escalating conflict in Gaza, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a poignant speech to Arab leaders and diplomats at a forum in Beijing on Thursday. Hosting prominent figures, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Xi underscored China's unwavering support for the Palestinian cause and called for a unified stance on the Gaza conflict. Emphasising the urgency of an immediate ceasefire, Xi highlighted the devastating humanitarian crisis and reaffirmed China's commitment to a two-state solution. This forum marks a pivotal moment in China's expanding role in Middle Eastern diplomacy, showcasing its readiness to mediate conflicts and foster regional stability.

In his address at the forum, President Xi Jinping emphasised China's steadfast commitment to the Palestinian cause and the two-state solution framework. Engaging with key figures, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Xi expressed profound concern over the critical humanitarian conditions in Gaza, where the Health Ministry has documented a significant death toll of 36,171, primarily civilians. Xi called for an immediate ceasefire to avert further escalation and regional instability, highlighting China’s readiness to collaborate with Egypt in delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza. He underscored the imperative of a comprehensive and equitable resolution to the Palestinian conflict, arguing that the continuation of the conflict and the delay of justice are untenable. Xi reaffirmed China’s endorsement of an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty, based on the 1967 borders, and with East Jerusalem as its capital. Additionally, he pointed out China's commitment to supporting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and contributing to post-conflict reconstruction. This initiative demonstrates China’s expanding role as a mediator in Middle Eastern affairs and its strategic pursuit of regional stability through diplomatic engagement and humanitarian assistance.

The United Nations has consistently affirmed the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and statehood, a principle enshrined in numerous resolutions and declarations. Notably, UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947) proposed the partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, affirming the Palestinian right to sovereignty. Furthermore, UN General Assembly Resolution 3236 (1974) reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, emphasising their right to self-determination without external interference. Regarding Israel's settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, the United Nations has unequivocally condemned their legality. For instance, UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016) reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements in territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as violations of international law. Moreover, the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion in 2004 emphasised that Israel's construction of settlements in occupied territories constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention. These positions reflect the international community's consensus, as articulated by the United Nations, on the legal status of Palestinian statehood and Israel's settlements in occupied territories.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech echoes across diplomatic corridors, it heralds not only a momentous chapter in China's regional engagement but also underscores the imperative for concerted global action in resolving the Gaza conflict and advancing the Palestinian cause. With China's unwavering commitment to a two-state solution and adherence to international legal principles, as endorsed by the United Nations, the prospects for a just and lasting resolution to the conflict are bolstered. As the world watches, China's expanding role in Middle Eastern diplomacy, coupled with its strategic pursuit of regional stability through dialogue and humanitarian assistance, offers a glimmer of hope amidst the turmoil of the region.

 

 

 

Sources and further readings:

Xinhua. (30 May 2024). Xi urges greater efforts to build China-Arab community with shared future. The State Council The People’s Republic of China. https://english.www.gov.cn/news/202405/30/content_WS665889d7c6d0868f4e8e7acb.html