Why do Chinese solutions attract attention in the Gaza War and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis?

China has a firm position in its condemnation of the Israeli occupation and its constant call for a two-state solution in accordance with international resolutions.

Now the Ukraine crisis has entered its third year, and the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has entered its seventh month. The world is accelerating turmoil, and China’s voice has also attracted much attention. In my opinion, I believe that the Chinese voices and Chinese solutions attract attention globally. The current Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the Gaza war take place on October 7, 2023, at a very important stage in the development of the world order. There is a profound and accelerating transformation in the structure of the distribution of economic and military capabilities, and the patterns of ongoing interactions between the main forces within the regime. Regarding the recent Gaza war on October 7, 2023, China has more than once renewed its support for the Palestinians’ endeavor to establish their state and called for a sustainable humanitarian truce. China was one of the strongest supporters in the United Nations ceasefire meetings between Israel and Hamas, as well as China’s support for the recognition of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.

  China has a firm position in its condemnation of the Israeli occupation and its constant call for a two-state solution in accordance with international resolutions. In this context, after the recent Gaza war, China renewed its call for holding an international peace conference on the Palestinian issue and formulating a “road map” to implement the two-state solution. This was confirmed by Foreign Ministry spokesman “Wang Wenbin”, saying that Chinese President “Xi Jinping” had clarified China’s position on settling the Palestinian issue several times and called on every occasion to hold an international peace conference, most recently in June 2023, when he received the Palestinian President “Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen” who was on a visit to China.

  China played as well a pivotal role in the recent Gaza war by its attempts to propose consensual solutions to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.  Through these two state crises, China looks at the state of the current world order in the context of its endeavor to build a multipolar system, or in terms of the nature of the tools used in managing these crises, starting with the media tool, ending with the military tool, and passing through the economic tool.

 Although China is not among the direct parties to these complex crises, this does not negate the importance of these crises for China, whether in terms of the nature of the stage that the global system is going through – as previously said – or the nature of the important implications they have for the development of this system.  This crisis will have many important strategic repercussions on the nature of this system. In other words, the current Russian-Ukrainian crisis can be viewed as an important episode, added to previous episodes, within the framework of a cumulative process in the transformation of the global system.

 These crises, with their characteristics, raise important questions about the nature of China’s perception of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis or the Palestinian issue, given that China is one of the major international powers in the global system, the nature of Chinese calculations in dealing with it, and the position of these crises in managing the process of Chinese rise within the global system, and managing the relationship with the dominant power in the global system, represented by the United States of America, which has expanded in recent years the policies of containing the Chinese rise, whether within the regions of China’s immediate neighborhood or outside these regions, and whether Chinese calculations in the crisis involve potential costs for China.

  Chinese President “Xi Jinping” several times clarified China’s position on the settlement of the Palestinian issue and on each occasion called for an international peace conference, the last of which was in June 2023, when he received Palestinian President “Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen”, who was on a visit to China.

 China also played an important role in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis by developing Chinese peace proposals acceptable to all parties.  With China presenting a proposal of (12 items) to achieve peace in Ukraine coinciding with the first anniversary of the outbreak of the war, of which there is no sign of its near end.  Ukrainian President “Volodymyr Zelensky” welcomed Beijing’s peace initiative, stressing that China’s involvement in peace efforts is an important first step.

  The proposed Chinese declaration for peace between Russia and Ukraine focuses on (the ceasefire between Moscow and Kiev, and the initiation of peace talks between the two parties to end the war) that broke out on February 24, 2022. The Chinese declaration was entitled “China’s position toward the political solution to the crisis in Ukraine”.

China’s peace proposals, whether in the recent Gaza war or the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, came through China’s strict emphasis on the necessity of respecting the sovereignty of all countries, and that there be strict adherence to recognized international law, including the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter.  The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively preserved, and this includes all countries, small or large, strong or weak, rich or poor, as they are all equal in the international community.  All parties must uphold the basic standards governing international relations and defend international justice.  Equality and equal application of international law should be promoted, while double standards should be rejected.

 With the Chinese emphasis on the need to abandon the Cold War mentality, China believes that ensuring the security of one country should not be at the expense of others.  The security of a region should not be achieved through strengthening or expanding military blocs, in reference to the encouragement of the United States of America and its allies in the West to include Ukraine in NATO.  With China’s emphasis in this regard, that the security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed correctly.

 Here, China believes that there is no easy solution to a complex issue.  All parties must pursue a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable vision for security, taking into account long-term peace and stability, and contributing to the formation of a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture.  All parties must oppose the pursuit of security at the expense of the security of others, avoid confrontation between blocs, and work together for peace and stability on the Eurasian continent.

   In both the Russian-Ukrainian crises and the recent Gaza war, China stresses the need to stop hostilities immediately and without delay or inaction, because conflict and war, from China’s point of view, do not benefit anyone. Therefore, China presented constructive peace proposals to resolve these crises, emphasizing the importance of all parties exercising rationality and self-restraint, avoiding anything that inflames tensions, and preventing the crisis from deteriorating further, leading to it getting out of control.

 Therefore, China stressed the importance of all parties supporting Russia, Ukraine, and the Palestinians in working in the same direction to restore direct dialogue as quickly as possible, in order to gradually reduce the escalation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire.

  China also adopted the strategy of the need to start (resuming peace talks) in the recent Gaza war and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, by emphasizing that dialogue and negotiations are the only viable solution to the Ukrainian and Palestinian crises.  With China encouraging all efforts leading to a political solution to these crises.  China stresses that the international community must remain committed to the right choice to enhance peace negotiations, help the parties to the conflict open the door to a political solution as soon as possible, and create the conditions and platforms for the resumption of negotiations. China will continue to play a constructive role in this context.

 China is always taking the initiative to find a solution to the current humanitarian crisis, whether in the besieged Gaza Strip or in Ukraine, through China’s support for all measures that lead to alleviating the severity of the humanitarian crisis and encouraging it, such as: China’s emphasis on all humanitarian operations being subject to the principles of neutrality, impartiality, and non-politicization of issues.  Humanity, and effectively protect the safety of civilians, including establishing humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from conflict areas. With China stressing that there is a need to make more efforts to increase humanitarian assistance to the relevant areas, improve humanitarian conditions, and provide rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid, with the aim of preventing a humanitarian crisis on a larger scale, whether in the Gaza Strip or the country of Ukraine.  While China respects the role of the United Nations, which must be supported in playing a coordination role in sending humanitarian aid to the raging conflict areas in the besieged Gaza Strip and Ukraine.

  Accordingly, we understand the leading Chinese role in global peace initiatives, whether in the recent Gaza war or the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, especially in light of the global equation currently undergoing profound changes. In light of the international environment, which is intertwined with transformations and turmoil, China officially pledges to be a force for peace, stability and progress in the world. It seeks to firmly maintain peace and development in the world, and to better preserve peace and development in the world, by providing peaceful solutions to the most prominent global crises and conflicts, the most prominent of which at the present time are the Gaza war and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit