China may play crucial role in Achieving peace in the Middle-East

The historical bonds between the Arab world and China date back centuries, with the Silk Road acting as a conduit for the exchange of goods, ideas, and cultures.

Sino-Arab Relations:

The historical bonds between the Arab world and China date back centuries, with the Silk Road acting as a conduit for the exchange of goods, ideas, and cultures. The ancient cities of the Arabian Peninsula and China were vibrant hubs of trade and intellectual exchange, fostering a sense of mutual respect and understanding.

The enduring cultural ties between the Arab nations and China are a testament to the universality of human expression. From literature and art to philosophy and cuisine, both regions have enriched each other, creating a cultural mosaic that reflects the beauty of diversity. The shared appreciation for traditions has created a bridge between our peoples that transcends borders.

In the contemporary era, our economic collaboration has blossomed, with both regions recognizing the immense potential for mutual growth. The Belt and Road Initiative has provided a framework for enhanced connectivity, facilitating trade and investment opportunities. The diversification of economic partnerships has not only strengthened our respective economies but has also fostered innovation and technological exchange.

The diplomatic relations between Arab nations and China have evolved into a robust partnership based on mutual trust and shared interests. High-level visits and diplomatic exchanges have become commonplace, creating a platform for open dialogue and collaboration on global issues. Both sides have consistently demonstrated a commitment to maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity in the international arena.

Sino-Palestine Relations:

China and Palestine share a rich history of diplomatic ties that have evolved into a multifaceted and robust partnership. This report aims to explore the historical background, diplomatic and political relations, economic and investment ties, as well as cultural exchanges between the two nations, highlighting the positive trajectory of their bilateral relations.

China and Palestine’s diplomatic relationship traces its roots back to 1967 when China formally recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Since then, the two nations have maintained a steadfast commitment to supporting each other on various international platforms.

China and Palestine enjoy a solid foundation of diplomatic ties, marked by mutual respect and support. China has consistently advocated for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The two nations have engaged in high-level diplomatic exchanges, fostering a sense of solidarity on global issues. China’s diplomatic stance aligns with the Palestinian cause, promoting a peaceful coexistence and a two-state solution.

Economic collaboration between China and Palestine has flourished in recent years. China has been a significant contributor to Palestine’s economic development through aid and investment. Infrastructure projects, technology transfer, and capacity building initiatives have been at the forefront of their economic partnership. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has provided new avenues for cooperation, enhancing connectivity and trade opportunities for both nation

Cultural diplomacy plays a pivotal role in fostering understanding and friendship between China and Palestine. Numerous cultural exchange programs, academic collaborations, and people-to-people interactions have deepened the cultural bonds between the two nations. Language programs, art exhibitions, and joint research initiatives have promoted a rich exchange of ideas, contributing to a more profound appreciation of each other’s heritage.

The future of China-Palestine relations looks promising, with both nations committed to further strengthening their partnership. Continued collaboration on economic projects, diplomatic initiatives, and cultural exchanges will contribute to the growth of their bilateral ties. China’s role as a global economic powerhouse and advocate for international justice positions it as a valuable ally for Palestine in the pursuit of its aspirations for statehood and prosperity.

The relationship between China and Palestine is built on a foundation of mutual respect, diplomatic support, and economic cooperation. The positive trajectory of their bilateral relations, evident in their shared commitment to peace and development, bodes well for the future. As China and Palestine continue to collaborate on various fronts, the prospects for a flourishing and enduring partnership are bright, offering hope for a more stable and prosperous future for both nations.

Arab Foreign Ministers Met Chinese Foreign Minister:

On November 20, 2023, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with the delegation of Arab-Islamic foreign ministers consisting of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha in Beijing.

Wang Yi said the fact that the delegation chose China as the first leg of their tour for international mediation shows deep trust in China and embodies the fine tradition of mutual understanding and support between the two sides. China is a good friend and brother of Arab and Islamic countries. China has always firmly upheld the legitimate rights and interests of Arab and Islamic countries and firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and interests. In regard to this conflict, China has firmly stood on the side of justice and fairness, has been working hard to de-escalate the conflict, protect civilians, expand humanitarian aid, and prevent humanitarian disasters, and has been calling for a return to the two-state solution and the early settlement of the Palestinian question. Today marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Palestine. China appreciates Arab and Islamic countries for their active mediation efforts for peace, and stands ready to work with them to make unremitting efforts for an early ceasefire in Gaza, the easing of the humanitarian crisis, the release of the detainees and an early, comprehensive, just and enduring settlement of the Palestinian question.

The foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic countries present briefed Wang on the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit. Noting the large number of civilian casualties and continued humanitarian disasters in Gaza, the international community should take responsible actions as soon as possible to promote an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, ensure unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza, protect innocent Palestinian civilians and prevent the forced relocation of civilians in Gaza. Arab and Islamic countries spoke highly of China’s long-standing just position on the Palestinian question and appreciated China’s efforts as the rotating presidency of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to facilitate the adoption of the first Security Council resolution since the outbreak of the current Palestine-Israel conflict. They look forward to closer coordination with China to prevent the crisis from spreading, restart the peace talk process, promote the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the two-state solution, avoid a vicious cycle of violence for violence, and achieve enduring peace and stability in the Middle East. Arab and Islamic countries expect China to play a greater role in ending the Palestine-Israel conflict, resolving the Palestine-Israel issue and achieving fairness and justice.

Wang Yi said, China firmly supports the diplomatic efforts of Arab and Islamic countries. He put forward China’s proposal on addressing the current crisis in Gaza and resolving the Palestinian question:

The pressing task now is to fully implement relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly and achieve an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. A ceasefire should not be a diplomatic rhetoric. It is a matter of life and death for the people in Gaza. A ceasefire should be achieved as a top priority. This is the pressing need of the people in Gaza, the wish of the overwhelming majority of countries, and the unanimous voice of all peace-loving people around the world.

Parties concerned should earnestly abide by international law, especially international humanitarian law. China opposes any forced displacement and relocation of Palestinian civilians. Israel should stop its collective punishment of the people in Gaza and open humanitarian corridors as soon as possible to prevent a wider humanitarian disaster.

Wang Yi stressed that any arrangement concerning the future and destiny of Palestine must be based on the consent of the Palestinian people and accommodate the legitimate concerns of regional countries. Any solution to the current situation should not deviate from the two-state solution and should be conducive to regional peace and stability.

The UN Security Council should heed the call of Arab and Islamic countries and take responsible actions to de-escalate the situation. As the rotating presidency of the Security Council, China will continue to strengthen coordination with Arab and Islamic countries to build consensus and push for further meaningful actions by the Security Council on the situation in Gaza.

Wang Yi said the fundamental reason for the cycle of conflict between Palestine and Israel is that the Palestinian people’s right to statehood and survival and their right of return to their homes have been ignored for a long time. The way out is to implement the two-state solution and establish an independent Palestinian state. China calls for an early convening of an international peace conference with greater scale, scope and effectiveness, and a timetable and roadmap for this purpose. The Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue. Without a just settlement of the Palestinian question, there will be no enduring peace and stability in the Middle East. China will continue to stand firmly on the side of Arab and Islamic countries and on the side of international fairness and justice, and continue to make positive efforts to promote peace between Palestine and Israel and peace and stability in the Middle East.

Sino-Israel Relations:

The historical connection between China and Israel can be traced back to ancient times when the Silk Road facilitated trade and cultural exchange. However, it wasn’t until 1992 that the two nations officially established diplomatic relations. Since then, the relationship has evolved into a multifaceted collaboration that encompasses various sectors, contributing to the prosperity of both nations.

The economic collaboration between China and Israel has flourished, with bilateral trade reaching new heights. Israel’s innovation-driven economy complements China’s technological prowess, creating a symbiotic relationship that fosters innovation and economic growth. Chinese investments in Israeli technology companies and startups have surged, showcasing the confidence in Israel’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

China and Israel collaborate in diverse fields, reflecting the depth and breadth of their partnership. Key areas of cooperation include: Technology and Innovation, Agriculture, Healthcare, Education and Cultural Exchange.

Achieving Peace in the Middle-East:

We look China-Israel relations positively, which makes China to play a mediator role between Arabs and Israel. The Growing enmity between Arab and Israel may not allow them to sit on a table and negotiate a peace deal, whereas, the US as a party along with Israel and lost its neutral role, and no longer in a position to mediate.

I admire the Chinese traditional wisdom and peace-loving nature. They wanted the entire world must enjoy peace, stability and developments. The recent role of China, in bringing Saudi Arabia and Iran closer, was an excellent example. China has been playing mediatory role for Afghanistan in achieving peace. Chinese initiative aims to achieve peace globally.

China has the potential to influence both, Palestine and Israel for a negotiated peace settlement, acceptable to both sides.  We are optimistic that China will use its position to reach a ceasefire immediately and stop further bloodshed.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.