China cannot support one side over the other in the conflict in Gaza if it hopes to come across as a distinct major power offering a different vision of peace in the future. That’s the reason its statements criticize both Israel and Hamas. China keeps the policy of opposing all strikes against people.
The present crisis differs significantly from the one that was resolved through negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, in which both parties desired a settlement and Oman and Iraq had already completed the necessary preparations. On the other hand, analysts are concerned that the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas may intensify.
China might eventually understand that it is just out of its league in a fight this long-lasting that involves other powers.
It is important to keep in mind that the Chinese were never able to play the same role in the Saudi-Iranian comparable because they lacked the same level of participation, understanding, and familiarity with various participants. In essence, they are not afforded the same privilege of attempting to get to know each other. You have to be well ahead of the game when resolving this, and the Chinese aren’t.
If other parties become involved in the present conflict, China’s significant financial interests in the area will be impacted. It imports a significant quantity of fossil fuels from Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. The Middle East and North Africa will have $259 billion in trade in 2021, which is also a high sum.
It is three times more than what Washington trades with the area. In 2021, China’s trade relationship with Israel was valued at $18 billion.
A Cooperation Opportunity
According to Steve Tsang, head of the SOAS China Institute, Beijing’s reputation on the international scene is also under jeopardy. This encourages China to maintain its neutrality even if it jeopardizes its ties with Israel.
This is a tactic to appease the Global South, which is generally more understanding of the suffering of the Palestinian people than of Israeli indignation. According to Tsang, China wants to win over the Global South in order to “democratize” the international system.
Tsang argues that under Xi, China is more concerned with advancing its own interests than achieving peace for the benefit of other peoples.
Although Tsang of SOAS stated that the ongoing battle offered China an additional chance to push forth a replacement to the US-controlled international developments, other observers see it as a chance to demonstrate that the two adversaries could cooperate.
Wang Yi, the senior diplomat for China, visited the US last weeks to talk about the conflict with US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. China’s continued desire in remaining active is indicated by this as well. At the APEC Summit in San Francisco later this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping is anticipated to visit possibly visit US President.
Chinese leaders find this as a possible chance to demonstrate to the US and the rest of the global community that better results are obtained for all parties involved when these issues are jointly addressed.
China uses this tactic to allay Western concerns that China is trying to supplant the West in light of its ascent to prominence. Rather, the China is attempting to indicate that they would want to collaborate with the West on such crucial and complex matters.