Chinese envoy urges nations to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza

With the humanitarian situation in Gaza deteriorating by the day in the face of Israel’s genocidal war against the Palestinian people, a senior Chinese diplomat has again made a powerful call for action to “protect civilians, save lives, and make every effort to prevent an even greater humanitarian disaster.”

Dai Bing, Charge d’Affaires of China’s permanent mission to the United Nations, speaking at the Security Council briefing on the food security risks in Gaza on February 27, said that:

“Millions of people in Gaza are suffering the pain of losing their loved ones or are still unable to find safe shelter after multiple times of forced displacement.

“They lack the most basic safety guarantees and supplies for survival and are constantly faced with the threat of death, hunger, and disease. Even more so, women and children are living in fear and desperation every single day.” 

He added that events in Gaza severely violate international law and international humanitarian law and go beyond the bottom line of human morality and conscience.

“The international community must take actions to protect civilians, save lives, and make every effort to prevent an even greater humanitarian disaster.”

Noting that the Security Council had already adopted two resolutions on protecting civilians and expanding humanitarian access, he continued:

“However, due to man-made obstacles, the entry of humanitarian supplies into Gaza has faced many difficulties. For nearly a month now, the humanitarian supplies received in Gaza have been far below the average of earlier periods, and Northern Gaza has not received any humanitarian supplies.

“We call on Israel to earnestly fulfill its obligations as the occupying power under the Geneva Convention, fully cooperate in the implementation of Security Council resolutions, open up all land, sea, and air access routes, and ensure the safe, rapid, and unimpeded entry of humanitarian supplies.”

He underscored that the International Court of Justice had ordered provisional measures that require Israel to take all measures to prevent genocide and provide the population in Gaza with urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance. “The order of provisional measures must be effectively implemented.”

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy urged the global community to take action to avert a more severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

“The international community must take actions to protect civilians, save lives, and make every effort to prevent an even greater humanitarian disaster,” Dai Bing, charge d’affaires of China’s permanent mission to the United Nations, said Tuesday at the UN Security Council briefing on the food security risks in Gaza.

Dai said Gaza has sunk into an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe since the conflict’s outbreak over four months ago, with nearly 30,000 civilians having lost their lives. “Millions of people in Gaza are suffering the pain of losing their loved ones or still unable to find safe shelter after multiple times of forced displacement.”

“They lack the most basic safety guarantees and supplies for survival and are constantly faced with the threat of death, hunger, and disease. Even more so, women and children are living in fear and desperation every single day,” he said.

He said events in Gaza severely violate international law and international humanitarian law and go beyond the bottom line of human morality and conscience.

“The international community must take actions to protect civilians, save lives, and make every effort to prevent an even greater humanitarian disaster,” said Dai.

The envoy stressed that humanitarian assistance is what the people in Gaza rely on for hope of survival.

“With the focus on protecting civilians and expanding humanitarian access, the council has adopted Resolutions 2712 and 2720.”

“However, due to man-made obstacles, the entry of humanitarian supplies into Gaza has faced many difficulties. For nearly a month now, the humanitarian supplies received in Gaza have been far below the average of earlier periods, and Northern Gaza has not received any humanitarian supplies,” the envoy added.

“We call on Israel to earnestly fulfill its obligations as the occupying power under the Geneva Convention, fully cooperate in the implementation of Security Council resolutions, open up all land, sea, and air access routes, and ensure the safe, rapid, and unimpeded entry of humanitarian supplies,” Dai said.

Dai pointed out that Israel should strictly comply with the requirements of deconfliction, effectively guarantee the safety of humanitarian agencies and personnel and provide necessary facilitation for humanitarian agencies to carry out assistance in Gaza.

He underscored that the International Court of Justice ordered provisional measures that require Israel to take all measures to prevent genocide and provide the population in Gaza with urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance. “The order of provisional measures must be effectively implemented.”

Noting that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is the lifeline for the people in Gaza, the envoy said that “its role is indispensable and irreplaceable. We support the UN in conducting an independent and impartial investigation into the allegations against UNRWA staff. Israel should support and cooperate with the UN in the investigation.”

Dai said that the international community should continue to support UNRWA and other humanitarian agencies in their work.

“We call upon the international community, and in particular, the major donors, to promptly resume their funding for UNRWA.”

Dai quoted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as saying that with Gaza under gunfire, conditions are impossible for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The envoy stressed that an immediate ceasefire is necessary to protect civilians, deliver assistance and alleviate the humanitarian disaster.

“This is currently the overwhelming call of the international community and the overwhelming consensus among Council members.”

“We hope that the relevant country will adopt a responsible and constructive attitude and support the Council in taking action to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” he said.

“China will continue to work with the international community to make tireless efforts to restore peace and save lives, to end the fighting in Gaza, to implement the two-state solution, and to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East,” Dai said. 

Message of greetings on the 55th anniversary of the founding of the DFLP

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), a Marxist-Leninist party which forms part of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and which plays a full part in the resistance of the Palestinian people against Zionism and imperialism, marked its 55th anniversary on February 22.

In this regard, the Foreign Affairs Department of the DFLP wrote to fraternal and friendly parties and organisations as follows:

On the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the founding and launch of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) on February 22, 1969, and in light of the Israeli genocidal crimes committed against the Palestinian people that have continued for more than 75 years, the DFLP continues its struggle and resistance in order to end the Israeli occupation of its lands and establish the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the return of refugees to their homes, and self-determination of the Palestinian people.

DFLP has sacrificed a large number of martyrs in the face of the Israeli occupation and its crimes against the Palestinian people, including members of the Central Committee and the Political Bureau, and it is still defending its Marxist-Leninist ideas in order to implement its political program.

Based on the extent of the real suffering and tragedy that the Palestinian people are experiencing in the Gaza Strip, DFLP will suspend its celebrations on the 55th anniversary of its launch, and activities will be limited to support the resistance and struggle of the Palestinian people.

In response, Friends of Socialist China sent the following message to the DFLP:

Please accept our warmest fraternal greetings on the 55th anniversary of the founding of your party. We greet you with particularly intense and heartfelt feelings of solidarity at this time, in particular, when the heroic Palestinian people are facing the sternest of tests and the most arduous of trials in the face of the rabid genocidal onslaught of the Israeli Zionists and their masters and backers among the imperialist powers led by the United States.

Our hearts are broken as we witness the unspeakable cruelty visited upon the Palestinian people, women, and children, the old, the sick and the young, in flagrant violation of the tenets of international law, international humanitarian law in particular, as well as the most basic principles of humanitarianism and human conscience.

This is not a time for celebration. It is a time for resistance. The fighters of the DFLP are standing in their place, defending their people and struggling for liberation, and we salute them.

We know that throughout the last 55 years the comrades of the DFLP have never wavered in their anti-imperialist and socialist struggle. Comrade Mao Zedong observed that the party, the people’s army and the united front were the three magic weapons with which the Chinese people were able to defeat their enemies and win their liberation. The DFLP has also embodied this idea, building its ranks as a Marxist-Leninist party, persisting in armed struggle, and standing for a principled unity among all national Palestinian political forces and institutions.

Faithful to proletarian internationalism, your party has also maintained unity and solidarity with the socialist countries, as well as with revolutionary states, national liberation movements, and communist, workers and left-wing political parties and organisations worldwide. We appreciate the hand of friendship that you have extended to Friends of Socialist China even at this most difficult moment.

The Irish revolutionary martyr Bobby Sands once wrote: “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.” We stand with you until the trauma etched on the faces of the children of Gaza, the West Bank and the whole of historic Palestine is replaced with smiles and laughter. Until all the children of Palestine can live a happy life and realise their dreams in a free and independent country.

Until then we join with you in saying:

Victory to the Palestinian Resistance!
Revolution until victory!

Once again, dear comrades, please accept our warmest and most comradely greetings.

China affirms Palestinian people’s right to wage armed struggle for liberation

The government of China has made an extremely important statement affirming the right of the Palestinian people to engage in armed struggle for liberation.

Speaking on February 22, on the second day of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s hearings on ‘The Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jersusalem’, held at the Hague, Holland, Ma Xinmin, Legal Adviser to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, referring to the results of the ‘Six Day War’ in June 1967, that 57 years have passed since Israel began its occupation and that the unlawful nature of the occupation as well as the sovereignty over the occupied territory remain unchanged. The Palestinians must not be denied justice, he added. “Justice has been long delayed, but it must not be denied.”

In the section of his speech released as a short clip by Al Jazeera, Ma said that the “Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression and complete the establishment of an independent state is an inalienable right. This recognition is also [having previously referred to a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly] reflected in international conventions. For example, the Arab Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism of 1998 affirms, ‘the right of peoples to combat foreign occupation and aggression by whatever means, including armed struggle, in order to liberate their territories and secure their right to self-determination and independence.’ Armed struggle in this context is distinguished from acts of terrorism.”

Telesur reported that: “Besides mentioning the United Nations General Assembly’s resolutions related to the Palestinian case, the Chinese ambassador indicated that the armed struggle is usually one of the means to which nations resort when seeking to achieve their self-determination.”

“The 1973 UNGA Resolution 3070 reaffirms the legitimacy of the people’s struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle,” he stressed.

The Palestine Chronicle described the Chinese statement as the strongest made in the day’s proceedings.

It quoted Ma as saying that: “The struggle waged by peoples for their liberation, right to self-determination, including armed struggle against colonialism, occupation, aggression, domination against foreign forces should not be considered terror acts.” 

In a separate article, The Palestine Chronicle reports that, “Ma also noted that the conflict stems ‘from Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory and Israel’s longstanding oppression of the Palestinian people.’

Therefore, according to the Chinese representative, “‘the Palestinian peoples’ fight against Israeli oppression and their struggle for completing the establishment of an independent state under occupied territory are essentially just actions.’”

Zhang Jun: While the US vetoes ceasefire resolution, innocent civilians in Gaza are dying

On February 20, the United States again vetoed a resolution in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calling for a ceasefire in Israel’s war of aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza. The resolution was moved by Algeria, currently the only Arab member of the Security Council. Thirteen countries voted in favour, Britain abstained and the United States, as one of the five permanent members, exercised its veto in flagrant defiance of the overwhelming view of the international community.

In a statement following the vote, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun expressed “strong disappointment and dissatisfaction” with the US action. 

Algeria, he noted, had held lengthy and extensive consultations on the draft resolution with all parties and taken many ideas on board. He added:

“The outcome of today’s vote clearly shows that on the issue of a ceasefire to halt the fight in Gaza, it is not that the Security Council does not have an overwhelming consensus, but rather it is the exercise of veto by the United States that stifles the Council consensus…

“While the Council ceasefire resolution has been vetoed, innocent civilians in Gaza are dying in the fighting and struggling on the brink of death. The US claimed that the Council resolution would interfere with the ongoing diplomatic efforts. Such a claim is totally untenable. Given the situation on the ground, the continued passive avoidance of an immediate ceasefire is nothing different from giving a green light to the continued slaughter.”

Noting that as the resolution has been vetoed, the spillover of the Gaza conflict is destabilising the entire region, Zhang said:

“Only by extinguishing the flames of war in Gaza, can we prevent the fires of hell from engulfing the entire region. The Council must act quickly to stop this carnage in the Middle East.”

With the US veto, “the basics of international law are being trampled upon, and the bedrock of the multilateral system is being eroded.”

According to the Chinese Ambassador:

“The Security Council must take actions to push for a ceasefire. This should not be a matter of debate, but rather a moral obligation that the Council cannot shy away from. It is a legal responsibility that the Council must assume. Even more so, this is a political requirement that the Council must fulfil in accordance with the Charter. The veto cannot muffle the strong call for a ceasefire and an end to the war. The Security Council cannot stop its work to uphold justice and fulfil its responsibilities just because of the veto. 

“China urges Israel to heed the call of the international community, abandon its plan for a Rafah offensive, and stop its collective punishment of the people of Palestine.”

We reproduce the full text of Ambassador Zhang Jun’s statement below. It was originally published on the website of the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN.

Madam President,

China has voted in favor of the draft resolution, and we express our strong disappointment by and dissatisfaction with the veto of the United States. Algeria, on behalf of the Arab states, put forward the draft resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, immediate release of all hostages, guaranteed access for humanitarian supplies, and the rejection of forced displacement. This is both urgently required by the situation on the ground and it is also based on the minimum requirements of humanity. It deserves the support of all Council members. 

Algeria, demonstrating reason, sincerity, and an open attitude, held lengthy and extensive consultations with all parties on the draft resolution and took on board many constructive ideas, making the draft resolution more balanced. The outcome of today’s vote clearly shows that on the issue of a ceasefire to halt the fight in Gaza, it is not that the Security Council does not have an overwhelming consensus, but rather it is the exercise of veto by the United States that stifles the Council consensus. The US veto sends a wrong message, pushing the situation in Gaza into a more dangerous one. 

While the Council ceasefire resolution has been vetoed, innocent civilians in Gaza are dying in the fighting and struggling on the brink of death. The US claimed that the Council resolution would interfere with the ongoing diplomatic efforts. Such a claim is totally untenable. Given the situation on the ground, the continued passive avoidance of an immediate ceasefire is nothing different from giving a green light to the continued slaughter. 

While the Council ceasefire resolution has been vetoed, the spillover of the conflict is destabilizing the entire Middle East region, leading to rising risks of a wider war. Only by extinguishing the flames of war in Gaza, can we prevent the fires of hell from engulfing the entire region. The Council must act quickly to stop this carnage in the Middle East. 

While the Council ceasefire resolution has been vetoed, the basics of international law are being trampled upon, and the bedrock of the multilateral system is being eroded. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has already written to the Council invoking Article 99 of the Charter and the International Court of Justice has issued provisional measures. The Council must respond forcefully to the serious violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the Gaza conflict and uphold the authority of international rule of order. 

Madam President, 

The Security Council must take actions to push for a ceasefire. This should not be a matter of debate, but rather a moral obligation that the Council cannot shy away from. It is a legal responsibility that the Council must assume. Even more so, this is a political requirement that the Council must fulfill in accordance with the Charter. The veto cannot muffle the strong call for a ceasefire and an end to the war. The Security Council cannot stop its work to uphold justice and fulfill its responsibilities just because of the veto. 

China urges Israel to heed the call of the international community, abandon its plan for Rafah offensive, and stop its collective punishment of the people of Palestine. We expect country with significant influence to do less of its political calculations, to be truly impartial and responsible, and to make the right choice to push for a ceasefire in Gaza. We call on the international community to pool all diplomatic efforts to give the people of Gaza a chance to live, give the people of the entire Middle East region a chance to have peace, and give it a chance for justice to be upheld. 

I thank you, Madam President.

Canada’s Chinese community rallies for Palestine

The Chinese community in Canada, particularly the youth, are taking an active part in the global movement of solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli genocidal onslaught, not least around the traditional celebration of the Lunar New Year.

The latest supplement to the TML Monthly, dated February 14, 2024, published online by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) (CPCML) reports that the weekly solidarity march in Montreal, on February 11, was addressed by a young woman from the city’s Chinese community, who said: “We are humbled to speak as part of the pan-Asian contingent, composed of 15 grassroots collectives of the diaspora of Montreal, formed in solidarity with Palestine.”

She added: “The youth of the Asian community are celebrating the transition to the Lunar New Year of the Wood Dragon. As is the tradition, we send our greetings to our ancestors, by uniting in solidarity for the liberation of Palestine. It is a New Year, but the demands are the same.”

The speaker also made a powerful comparison between the historic racist oppression of the Chinese community in Canada and the Palestinian people’s forced displacement by Israel.

TML’s full report on the Montreal protest reads as follows:

“The weekly Montreal march in support of Gaza and the people of Palestine began with hundreds of people assembling downtown on February 11, for the 19th consecutive week, to listen to speeches from organizers and supporters.

“The first to address the crowd was a representative of the Palestinian Youth Movement who said, among other things, ‘The people in Gaza are facing an impossible situation. If you don’t die from U.S.-funded bombs, you die from the rubble. If you survive the rubble, you die because there is no other place to go. If you survive your injuries, you die of mass starvation and hunger.”

“‘It has become clear to everyone that the missiles funded by the U.S. and sold by Canada are not just trying to kill the Palestinians. These missiles are trying to destroy the very idea of the Palestinian homeland. These bombs are trying to eliminate the very concept of liberation. Israel and its bloody allies are committing this genocide to send a message to the world […] that if any colonized person threatens their power, their domination, and their hegemony, they will get killed. But what did the world say in response to this? What do we say in response to this?”

“‘We say that if you were a criminal, and you commit genocide in broad daylight, we will make sure that there isn’t a single moment of peace if there isn’t a single moment of justice. They have tried for over 75 years to destroy Palestine and they have failed, and they will continue to fail. Because nothing — no displacement, no bombs, no weapons, no missiles — can ever destroy a movement for liberation and justice. What do we want? Justice!’”

Continue reading Canada’s Chinese community rallies for Palestine

China and Norway call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Since the start of 2024, in its diplomatic dealings with European countries, China has placed considerable emphasis on identifying areas of common ground and promoting friendly cooperation with the continent’s small and medium-sized countries.

Particularly significant in this regard was the early February visit to Beijing by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide. 

Noting that Eide is the first European foreign minister to visit China in 2024, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Eide’s visit shows the importance Norway attaches to China and the fact that relations between the two countries are maintaining forward momentum. Norway is a uniquely influential European country and one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of those relations. China appreciates the Norwegian government’s objective, rational and friendly view of China’s development, its adherence to the one-China principle and its friendship with China.

Wang Yi stressed that, to promote greater development of China-Norway relations in the next stage the two sides should first uphold the right way to get along with each other, respect the choices of their respective people, and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns. The two sides should deepen practical cooperation, promote bilateral cooperation in various fields with a vision for development and a proactive attitude, strengthen multilateral collaboration, advocate multilateralism, adhere to openness and inclusiveness, and jointly promote peace and prosperity in the world.

Eide said that after 70 years of development, China-Norway relations have entered a mature stage. The Norwegian side firmly adheres to the one-China policy and advocates mutual respect and constructive dialogue to promote greater development of relations between the two countries, so as to jointly build a universal and inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world. 

The two sides have broad space for cooperation in areas such as green transformation, and Norway is ready to work with China to jointly address global challenges such as climate change. China’s great achievements in poverty eradication are admirable and have made important contributions to the global poverty reduction cause.

What was undoubtedly of greatest significance in this visit, given Israel’s current genocidal war in Gaza, is that the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the recent situation in the Middle East and agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and a substantial increase in humanitarian assistance. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East should be allowed to continue its vital humanitarian work in Gaza and the region, and donor countries were urged not to suspend their support to the Agency. Both sides also agreed on the need to strengthen support for the Palestinian National Authority and to start a political process leading to a two-state solution in which both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples could live in peace and security. They also expressed concern about the spillover of the rising situation in the Middle East and agreed to continue to maintain communication on the issue.

Besides Norway, other West European countries calling for a ceasefire in Gaza include Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Malta, and Luxembourg, along with the devolved government in Scotland.

Former Minister Eide also met with Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang and Minister Liu Jianchao of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee (IDCPC).

Minister Liu said that the CPC is willing to strengthen exchanges with the Labour Party and other major political parties in Norway, carry out exchanges on governing concepts and development strategies, deepen mutual understanding and trust, and build bridges for local exchanges and practical cooperation between the two countries through inter-party channels, so as to promote the development of bilateral relations.

He also highlighted the need to deepen cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, along with green and maritime issues, as well as winter sports.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister’s Beijing visit was immediately followed by that of Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, who jointly held the third round of China-Switzerland Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He also met with Chinese Vice President Han Zheng.

This visit had been preceded in January by Premier Li Qiang making Switzerland and Ireland his first overseas destinations of 2024.

Also, on February 8, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China and Portugal have upheld the idea of mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness since their diplomatic ties were established, vividly demonstrating the right way for countries to get along with one another. He made the remarks as he exchanged congratulations with his Portuguese counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, in the wake of the ‘Carnation Revolution’ that overthrew the previous fascist dictatorship.

China and Portugal have properly settled the Macao issue through friendly consultation and taken stock of the situation to establish their comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi added, and noted that the two sides have jointly coped with the global financial crisis and public health challenges, expanded mutually beneficial cooperation among their enterprises, worked together for stronger Belt and Road cooperation and the development of China-EU relations, and upheld multilateralism.

For his part, Rebelo de Sousa said that despite the long distance, Portugal and China have always been getting along and maintained friendly exchanges in political, economic, cultural, social, and other fields.

Noting that bilateral ties have been thriving since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Rebelo de Sousa said the two countries have successfully achieved the smooth handover of Macao, worked together to boost the development of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and actively carried out multilateral cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo visited China in January, and in a February 2 phone call, Premier Li Qiang and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte agreed to further promote cooperation between their two countries. 

In contrast to some naïve and simplistic analyses of the current international situation that see only a united Global North, essentially devoid of contradictions, China’s sophisticated and nuanced handling of its relations with various countries in Europe, not least with regard to the present war in Gaza, embodies Leninist strategy and tactics as, for example, set out here in VI Lenin’s, “Left-Wing” Communism: an infantile disorder (and further developed by Mao Zedong, particularly with his concept of intermediate zones, as initially set out, for example, in his August 1946 talk with Anna Louise Strong):

“To carry on a war for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie, a war which is a hundred times more difficult, protracted and complex than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to renounce in advance any change of tack, or any utilisation of a conflict of interests (even if temporary) among one’s enemies, or any conciliation or compromise with possible allies (even if they are temporary, unstable, vacillating or conditional allies) – is that not ridiculous in the extreme?”

The following articles were originally published on the websites of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Xinhua News Agency.

Wang Yi Holds Talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Espen Barth Eide

On February 5, 2024, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Espen Barth Eide in Beijing.

Noting Eide is the first European foreign minister to visit China in 2024, Wang Yi said Eide’s visit shows the importance Norway attaches to China and the fact that relations between the two countries are maintaining forward momentum. Norway is a uniquely influential European country and one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Norway. After 70 years of development, China-Norway relations have become more mature and resilient, and have maintained a strong endogenous momentum. China appreciates the Norwegian government’s objective, rational and friendly view of China’s development, its adherence to the one-China principle and its friendship with China.

Wang Yi said that the world today has entered a new period of turbulence and change, and the global political, economic and security situation is full of uncertainties. Human society is at a critical crossroads. China believes that the overall direction of pursuing peace and development by people of all countries will not change, the overall dynamics of human civilization moving forward will not change, and the overall trend toward a shared future for the international community will not change. Although China and Norway are geographically apart with different national conditions and systems, the two countries should be the forces of stability, peace and prosperity in the international community. The two sides should insist on candid communication, pragmatically promote cooperation, properly deal with differences, follow the overall direction, overall dynamics and overall trend, and jointly inject more certainty, stability and positive energy into the world.

Wang Yi stressed that to promote greater development of China-Norway relations in the next stage, the two sides should first uphold the right way to get along with each other, respect the choices of their respective people, and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns. The two sides should deepen practical cooperation, treat bilateral cooperation in various fields with a vision for development and a proactive attitude, strengthen multilateral collaboration, advocate multilateralism, adhere to openness and inclusiveness, and jointly promote peace and prosperity in the world.

Continue reading China and Norway call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Israel’s bizarre human rights accusations against China

The article below, originally published in Xinhua, discusses the bizarre phenomenon of Israel (during a regular periodic review conducted by the UN Human Rights Council) criticising China’s treatment of Muslims.

As the author points out, this criticism has been issued at a time when Israel is carrying out a genocidal assault on Gaza; when “Israeli bombardment and gunfire have killed more than 25,000 Palestinians and displaced millions, leaving the survivors desperately trying to access critical supplies, including food and medicine.”

The major imperialist powers have no problem echoing these unsubstantiated and entirely false accusations against China, and yet at the same time they refuse to condemn Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people; refuse to call for a ceasefire in Gaza; and claim that South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice is “without merit”.

All this proves once again that the Western powers have no interest whatsoever in human rights, other than to the extent that a human rights narrative can be leveraged in the pursuit of hegemony.

Western double standards – on bold display with unwavering support for Israeli atrocities in Gaza – illustrate no genuine concern for human rights. Instead, the West manipulates the topic to advance its geopolitical agenda.

During a regular periodic review conducted by the UN Human Rights Council, Israel criticized China’s treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang.

You read that right.

The accusation came from Israel that has been accused of killing innocent civilians and creating a humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

Since the latest stage of the conflict broke out on Oct. 7 in the Gaza Strip, Israeli bombardment and gunfire have killed more than 25,000 Palestinians and displaced millions, leaving the survivors desperately trying to access critical supplies, including food and medicine.

It continues to ignore the growing outcry from the Arab world and international community to end the devastation.

Despite the bloodshed, Israel has turned to lecturing others on how to safeguard human rights, and even on treatment of Muslims.

The bizarre accusations have nothing to do with human rights, but politics. Israel acted in collusion with its Western allies, which are plagued by double standards on human rights. Facing the atrocities in Gaza, the U.S.-led West has been reluctant to condemn Israel publicly. While visiting Israel earlier in the month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said South Africa’s genocide claim against Israel is without merit.

Pretty rich coming from a country guilty of committing human rights abuses across the globe.

In sharp contrast to its tolerance of Israel, the West continues to attack China’s efforts to protect human rights at home. The United States and its allies falsely claim that China is committing “genocide” in Xinjiang without producing a shred of evidence.

Call it the lie of the century.

In Xinjiang, the human rights of all ethnic groups are well-protected. For years, the region has allocated a large proportion of public spending to implement a series of projects to bolster employment, culture, education and healthcare. These investments guarantee that everyone equally shares in the region’s economic growth regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation.

China’s efforts to protect human rights have won recognition across the world. Over 120 countries acknowledged China’s human rights endeavors during this year’s UN review.

Western double standards — on bold display with unwavering support for Israeli atrocities in Gaza — illustrate no genuine concern for human rights. Instead, the West manipulates the topic to advance its geo-political agenda.

Xinjiang is “a political issue provoked by the West, who wish to leave the people (in Xinjiang) in poverty and ignorance,” said Kamal Gaballa, an Egyptian columnist and a member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs. “The West wishes to make Xinjiang a focal point of tensions and terrorism to impact the development of China.”

Gaballa is right, and the world must do more to call out these glaring double standards.

Lenin, China, Palestine, and the global struggle against imperialism

Below is the text and video of a short speech given by Carlos Martinez on behalf of Friends of Socialist China at the International Assembly Against Imperialism in Solidarity with Palestinian Resistance, held at the Malcolm X & Dr Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center in New York City on January 21, 2024.

The event was organised by Workers World Party, and the date was chosen to honour the centennial of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, who died that day in 1924.

Carlos asks “what ties together these seemingly disparate themes of Palestine, China and Leninism”, suggesting that the answer lies in the global struggle against imperialism. He explains the effect of Lenin’s analysis of imperialism in expanding the scope and applicability of Marxism to cover the entire world; how this informed Soviet support for socialist and national liberation projects in the Global South; and how People’s China carried forward this tradition. “China has been and remains a bulwark against imperialism, standing in solidarity with the Global South.”

The speech discusses China’s long history of solidarity with Palestine, and its current positive diplomatic role in opposition to the genocide in Gaza, and concludes:

“The brave Palestinian people, with the solidarity and support of freedom-loving people around the world, will surely win their liberation.”

Dear comrades and friends,

It’s a great honour for Friends of Socialist China to be invited to contribute to this International Assembly Against Imperialism, in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the death of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

What ties together these seemingly disparate themes of Palestine, China and Leninism?

The answer lies in the struggle against imperialism.

The original slogan of the communist movement, ‘Workers of the world unite’ – the rallying cry and final phrase from the Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels in 1848 – was put forward at a time when the nascent communist movement was geographically limited to Europe and North America, and focused almost exclusively on the industrial working class.

Lenin’s study of global political economy, and particularly of the dynamics of monopoly capitalism and the emergence of modern imperialism, led him to an acute understanding of the expanded – global – applicability of Marxist thought. He understood that, as a result of imperialist domination, the capitalist class of the metropolis had become an enemy not just to the working class in the advanced capitalist countries but to the broad masses of the oppressed in all countries.

Lenin and the Bolsheviks thus proposed the development of a worldwide united front of the working class and all peoples oppressed by imperialism. Such a united front would be capable – indeed still is capable – of taking the fight to the oppressors, of defeating imperialism, of establishing national independence and sovereignty for the peoples of the Global South, and thereby opening the possibility for a global advance to socialism.

Hence at the second congress of the Comintern in 1920, ‘Workers of the world unite’ was updated to ‘Workers and oppressed peoples of all countries, unite’.

In his letter titled Better Fewer, But Better, the last document he wrote, Lenin observed that “in the last analysis, the outcome of the struggle will be determined by the fact that Russia, India, China etc account for the overwhelming majority of the population of the globe. And during the past few years it is this majority that has been drawn into the struggle for emancipation with extraordinary rapidity, so that in this respect there cannot be the slightest doubt what the final outcome of the world struggle will be. In this sense, the complete victory of socialism is fully and absolutely assured.”

The Chinese communists of course played a crucial role in developing this ideology and applying it in practice. The overthrow of imperialist domination and the construction of socialism in China, Korea and Vietnam represented a profound shift of the revolutionary centre of gravity in the world towards the East and the South.

The Chinese benefited enormously from the solidarity of the Soviet peoples.

Mao Zedong stated in 1949, just two months before the proclamation of the People’s Republic, that “it was through the Russians that the Chinese found Marxism. The salvoes of the October Revolution brought us Marxism-Leninism. The October Revolution helped progressives in China, as throughout the world, to adopt the proletarian world outlook as the instrument for studying a nation’s destiny and considering anew their own problems.”

In turn, China has been and remains a bulwark against imperialism, standing in solidarity with the Global South.

China’s history of support for the Palestinian national struggle in particular goes back to the 1950s. As Xi Jinping has put it, no matter how the international and regional situation changes, China always firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore the legitimate rights and interests of their nation, and always stands with the Palestinian people.

China sent its first aid to the Palestinian people in 1960, and when the PLO was founded in 1964, China became the first non-Arab country to recognise it. The first Palestinian fighters were sent for military training in China in 1965. It was also one of the first countries to recognise the State of Palestine – on 20 November 1988. Indeed Yasser Arafat – Chairman of the PLO from 1969 to 2004 – stated in 1970 that “China is the biggest influence in supporting our revolution and strengthening its perseverance.”

Premier Zhou Enlai wrote in 1967; “Wherever there is oppression, there is resistance; wherever there is aggression, there is struggle against aggression. I believe that having taken up arms, the revolutionary Arab people of Palestine and the entire Arab people will not lay down their arms and, like the heroic Vietnamese people, will fight on unflinchingly, resolutely and stubbornly until final victory.”

Today, China is among the loudest voices calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and insistently calling for the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and with the right of return.

The heroic Palestinian resistance has put the issue of Palestine back at the centre of global politics. Meanwhile the shift towards a multipolar world and away from US hegemony is creating favourable conditions for finding a lasting and just solution.

Even as we witness the horrors of Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza, we remember the words of the great Paul Robeson, that the people’s will for freedom is stronger than atom bombs. The brave Palestinian people, with the solidarity and support of freedom-loving people around the world, will surely win their liberation.

Wang Yi in Tunisia: All countries, big or small, rich or poor, should have the right to development

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Tunisia as the second leg of his January Africa tour following his visit to Egypt.

Meeting with Tunisian President Kais Saied on January 13, both men expressed opposition to interference in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and democracy.

During their talks, President Saied voiced great appreciation for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s philosophy of governance, commending China’s great achievements in promoting modernisation, as well as the 60 years of development of Tunisia-China relations and the fruitful results of their pragmatic cooperation.

“Although Tunisia and China are far apart, our friendship is strong and our people are close to each other,” he said, expressing thanks for China’s long-term and valuable support in helping Tunisia to develop and improve people’s lives.

He added that Tunisia will continue to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, learn from China’s successful experience, and promote modernisation with Tunisian characteristics.

For his part, Wang said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Tunisia 60 years ago, bilateral ties have stood the test of an evolving international landscape and have maintained healthy and stable development. The most important experience is that the two countries have trusted each other and carried out mutually beneficial cooperation based on mutual trust and equal treatment.

The world today is afflicted with uncertainty and instability as well as rampant unilateralism, power politics and hegemony, he added, noting that China opposes the imposition of one’s own values, opposes the transformation of other countries according to one’s own standards, and opposes the interference in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and democracy.

Saied said that the history of colonialism cannot be repeated, and the world cannot return to unipolar hegemony. Tunisia opposes double standards and interference in other countries’ internal affairs.

China’s top diplomat also met with Nabil Ammar, Tunisian minister of foreign affairs, migration and Tunisians abroad.

During their meeting, Wang emphasised that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era provides the fundamental guidance for building China into a great country and for the great cause of national rejuvenation. through Chinese modernisation. China’s development in the new era has also provided a useful reference for other countries intending to speed up development while preserving their independence, he added.

For his part, Ammar said that the two sides will strengthen solidarity and coordination to jointly safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries and uphold the principle of non-interference in internal affairs and international equity and justice.

The two ministers also exchanged views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and agreed to continue to jointly support the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights.

President Saied and Minister Ammar also joined Wang Yi for the inauguration of the International Diplomatic Academy in the capital Tunis, the first of its kind that China has built in an Arab country.

At the ceremony, Wang also called for building an equal and orderly multipolar world and advancing an inclusive economic globalisation that benefits all. He underlined that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, should play their due role and enjoy the right to development and revitalisation.

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Tunisia, China oppose interference in internal affairs under pretext of human rights

TUNIS, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) — Tunisian President Kais Saied and visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday expressed opposition to interference in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and democracy.

During their talks, Saied voiced great appreciation for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s philosophy of governance, commending China’s great achievements in promoting modernization, the 60 years of development of Tunisia-China relations and the fruitful results of pragmatic cooperation.

“Although Tunisia and China are far apart, our friendship is strong and our people are close to each other,” Saied said, expressing thanks for China’s long-term and valuable support in helping Tunisia to develop and improve people’s lives.

He said that Tunisia will continue to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, learn from China’s successful experience, and promote modernization with Tunisian characteristics.

Tunisia will uphold the one-China principle, abide by UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, and support China in exercising sovereignty over all its territory, he said.

For his part, Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Tunisia 60 years ago, bilateral ties have stood the test of an evolving international landscape, and have maintained healthy and stable development. The most important experience is that the two countries have trusted each other and carried out mutually beneficial cooperation based on mutual trust and equal treatment.


The heads of state of the two countries have lately exchanged congratulatory messages, charting the course of the development of bilateral ties, said Wang, thanking Tunisia for its support on issues involving China’s core interests and major concerns.

China also firmly supports Tunisia in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and national dignity, exploring a development path in line with its own national conditions, and independently advancing the national reform process.

“We stand ready to consolidate political mutual trust between the two sides, deepen cooperation in various fields, accelerate respective development and revitalization,” he said.

The world today is afflicted with uncertainty and instability as well as rampant unilateralism, power politics and hegemony, said Wang, noting that China opposes the imposition of one’s own values, opposes the transformation of other countries according to one’s own standards, and opposes the interference in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and democracy.

China is willing to strengthen unity and coordination with Tunisia to jointly implement the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative, to promote economic globalization featuring equal, orderly global multipolarity and inclusiveness.

Saied said that the history of colonialism cannot be repeated and the world cannot return to unipolar hegemony. Tunisia opposes double standards and interference in other countries’ internal affairs under the banner of democracy and human rights.

“The series of important global initiatives proposed by President Xi demonstrate China’s cultural heritage and global vision,” Saied said, expressing willingness to work with China and other developing countries to safeguard common values of mankind, defend international fairness and justice, and build a community with a shared future.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and other issues.

Also on Monday, Wang held talks with Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar. 


Chinese, Tunisian FMs stress independent development

TUNIS, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) — Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Nabil Ammar, Tunisian minister of foreign affairs, migration and Tunisians abroad on Monday voiced willingness to support each other’s independent development.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Tunisia, thereby having great significance in bridging the past and the future.

“We are ready to take this opportunity to work with Tunisia to review the successful experience and grow our traditional friendship so as to write a new chapter in China-Tunisia friendly cooperation,” he said.

The two sides need to support each other on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns, so as to provide a solid foundation for and add strong impetus into bilateral relations, he added.

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Wang said, provides the fundamental guidance for building China into a great country and for the great cause of national rejuvenation through Chinese modernization.

China’s development in the new era has also provided a useful reference for other countries intending to speed up development while preserving their independence, said Wang.

China will promote the modernization of the world with Chinese modernization, and is willing to share experience in governance with Tunisia and enhance Tunisia’s capacity for independent development so as to achieve common development and prosperity, said Wang.

For his part, Ammar said that Tunisia and China, sharing extensive common interests and values, have a solid political foundation, sound development momentum, and inspiring cooperation results in bilateral relations.

The Tunisian side cherishes its friendship with China and will always remember China’s support and help.

Ammar reiterated that Tunisia always firmly upholds the One-China principle and stands ready to work with China to push for greater development of bilateral relations.

As China-Tunisia relations have broad prospects, the two sides agreed to strengthen high-level exchanges, add strategic substance to bilateral relations, and expand all-round cooperation.

The two sides will strengthen solidarity and coordination to jointly safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries, and uphold the principle of non-interference in internal affairs and international equity and justice.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and agreed to continue to jointly support the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights. 


Chinese FM lauds great progress in China-Tunisia ties in past 6 decades

TUNIS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday spoke highly of the “great friendship” achieved by China and Tunisia during the past six decades since the establishment of their diplomatic ties.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks at a ceremony held in the Tunisian capital of Tunis to inaugurate the China-built International Diplomatic Academy of Tunis, which was also attended by Tunisian President Kais Saied and Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar.

It took eight years to build the academy, the only one of its kind that China has helped build in an Arab country, the Chinese top diplomat noted.

The academy, which has demonstrated the high level and quality of the China-Tunisia ties, will become a new symbol of and platform for carrying forward the traditional China-Tunisia friendship, he added.

Over the past decades, China and Tunisia have firmly supported each other in safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and choosing their own paths of development, Wang said.

The two countries have also achieved fruitful results in pragmatic cooperation by successfully implementing a number of high-quality projects to improve people’s livelihoods, maintaining close communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, and working together to safeguard common interests as well as international fairness and justice, he said.

At the ceremony, Wang also called for building an equal and orderly multipolar world and advancing an inclusive economic globalization that benefits all.

He underscored that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, should play their due role and enjoy the right to development and revitalization.

Ammar, for his part, said that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tunisia and China, which have achieved smooth progress in bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Strengthening the bilateral friendship is the shared political wish of both sides and conforms to the common interests of the two countries and their peoples, said Ammar.

He expressed gratitude to China for building the academy, which is the concrete result of the joint construction of the Belt and Road and has crystallized the profound friendship between Tunisia and China.

Tunisia will use the academy as a bridge for boosting mutual understanding and exchanges between Tunisia and China, as well as the rest of the world, the Tunisian top diplomat said. 

China puts forward four-point proposal for ending Gaza conflict

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi began a visit to Africa on January 13, visiting Egypt, Tunisia, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire till January 18. This marks the 34th consecutive year that a Chinese foreign minister makes Africa the first destination for his overseas visits. Wang Yi’s itinerary this time also takes him to Brazil and Jamaica, January 18-22.

On January 14, Wang Yi met in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, where he stressed the importance of implementing an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

For his part, President Sisi congratulated China on its great development achievements under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and its increasingly important role in international affairs. China, he said, is a great country, and no country or force can stop China’s progress.

Expressing his gratitude to China for its strong support for Egypt’s economic and social development, Sisi said that the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by Egypt and China has achieved remarkable results.

He also thanked Chinese enterprises for their “important contribution” to Egypt’s national construction and economic development and welcomed more Chinese investments in Egypt.

Noting that Egypt is an important Arab, African, Islamic, and developing country, Wang once again congratulated Egypt on becoming a new member of the BRICS. China, he added, is willing to work with Egypt to promote a more equal and orderly multipolarisation as well as a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation, and jointly build a community of shared future for humanity.

The same day, Wang also met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

Shoukry said that Egypt is proud of being the first Arab and African country to have forged diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, and it is a great pleasure to make Egypt the first stop of the Chinese foreign minister’s first visit abroad again in a new year, which demonstrates the solid and profound friendship between Egypt and China.

Egypt adheres to the one-China principle, unswervingly supports China in safeguarding national unity, stability and development, as well as regarding China’s legitimate position on issues related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Wang noted that the China-Egypt friendship has brought tangible benefits to the two peoples and set a model for South-South cooperation. 

Both sides, he continued, should promote cooperation in various fields, including new energy, aerospace, agricultural science and technology, digital economy, artificial intelligence, and medical and health care. China encourages Chinese enterprises to invest in Egypt, more Chinese citizens to visit Egypt, and stands ready to import more high-quality products from Egypt.

He pointed out that both China and Egypt, as representatives of major developing countries and emerging forces, pursue independent foreign policies and support genuine multilateralism. In a turbulent and intertwined world, China and Egypt are important factors for maintaining strategic stability. China is ready to work with Egypt to support an equal and orderly multipolar world and economic globalisation that benefits all, promote the development of global governance in a more just and reasonable direction, and safeguard the common interests and legitimate rights of developing countries.

In a joint press conference of the two foreign ministers, Wang Yi called for the convening of a more comprehensive, authoritative, and effective international peace conference to formulate a road map for implementing the two-state solution to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He also put forward a four-point proposal for resolving the conflict in Gaza.

First, the overriding priority now is to end the Gaza conflict as soon as possible. The international community must take immediate action and focus all efforts on achieving a ceasefire, protecting the safety of civilians, and avoiding the loss of more lives.

Second, it is a moral responsibility to ensure the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. It is necessary to establish a humanitarian relief mechanism as soon as possible to ensure the rapid, safe, barrier-free and sustainable delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza. China has decided to provide its third batch of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Third, the will of the Palestinian people must be fully respected regarding the future arrangements of Gaza. “The Palestinians governing Palestine” is the basic principle for discussing the future of Gaza. Strengthening the power of the Palestinian Authority and supporting Palestine’s internal reconciliation is the realistic approach to ensuring “the Palestinians governing Palestine” principle.

Fourth, the essence of settling the Palestinian issue is to correct historical injustice. Justice must be returned to the Palestinian people as soon as possible, and a political settlement must be achieved in accordance with relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative by establishing an independent and sovereign Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

Wang also noted that Egypt is a major Arab, African, Islamic, and developing country. This year, China will host the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and the new session of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. China looks forward to working with Egypt to lead China-Arab States and China-Africa collective cooperation to a new level, and to build a model of high-quality South-South cooperation.

The Chinese Foreign Minister also met in Cairo with the League of Arab States Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

The Arab League has become the first regional organisation to sign a joint statement with China aimed at further implementing the Global Civilisation Initiative, Wang noted, adding that China is willing to work with the Arab side to push for new progress in China-Arab practical cooperation.

He said that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and that over the past two decades, the forum has made important contributions to promoting the development of China-Arab relations and has become a “prestige brand” for China-Arab collective cooperation.

Gheit said that the Arab League firmly adheres to the one-China principle and “one country, two systems,” opposes using double standards on issues related to human rights and Xinjiang and stands against interference in China’s internal affairs.

“We deeply appreciate China for upholding justice on the Palestinian question, and for its important contributions to ceasefire, an end to violence, de-escalation and the protection of civilians. We believe that China will continue to play an indispensable role,” he added.

China issued joint statements with both Egypt and the League of Arab States on the question of Palestine.

The joint statement with Egypt demanded an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire and  opposed and condemned all violations of international law, including international humanitarian law, as well as of international human rights law, including the forced individual and collective transfers and forcible transfers of the Palestinian population from their land.

That with the League of Arab States demanded that: “The UN Security Council should heed the voices of Arab and Islamic countries and other countries that oppose Israel’s continued war against civilians in Gaza and take binding measures to ensure that international security and peace are properly assured,” adding that: “Any arrangement concerning the future and destiny of Palestine should follow the principle of ‘Palestinians governing Palestine’. Efforts should be made to achieve intra-Palestinian reconciliation and the support of both China and Algeria for an inclusive national dialogue with the participation of all Palestinian factions should be underlined in order to achieve the above-mentioned goals.”

The two sides also expressed “deep concern over the recent escalation of the situation in the Red Sea and stressed the need to respect Yemen’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, while ensuring the safety of international commercial routes in the Red Sea.”

“The Arab side highly appreciates China’s extensive efforts to calm the conflict in Gaza, achieve a ceasefire and support the just cause of the Palestinian people, and appreciates China’s Position Paper on the Settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. The two sides are willing to continue to strengthen communication and coordination, make unremitting efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza and end the grave humanitarian crisis suffered by more than two million Palestinian people, and work to end the occupation and promote a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question.”

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The two joint statements have been machine translated and lightly edited by us.

Egyptian president, Chinese FM discuss bilateral ties, Gaza conflict

CAIRO, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi held a meeting with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday, during which the two sides discussed the ways to strengthen bilateral ties and stressed the importance of implementing an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Continue reading China puts forward four-point proposal for ending Gaza conflict

Criticising Israel’s Gaza action not anti-Semitism

This brief but incisive article by Professor Wang Zhen, originally published in China Daily, discusses the accusation levelled by Israeli and Western media outlets that Chinese netizens’ criticism of Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza is somehow antisemitic.

The author, deputy director of the Center for Jewish Studies in Shanghai, notes the definition of antisemitism – “prejudice, discrimination and hatred against Jews, their religion and culture” – and gives an overview of the terrible history of anti-Jewish discrimination in Europe. He contrasts this with the welcoming attitude towards Jewish communities in China over the centuries. “During World War II, when the Nazis were killing Jews by the millions in Europe, Shanghai, which faced Japanese imperialist aggression, became for some time the proverbial Noah’s Ark for many Jewish refugees, with a group of Chinese left-wing leaders led by Lu Xun and Soong Ching-ling taking to the streets to protest against the fascist policies of Nazi Germany.”

What Chinese people are appalled by is not the Jewish religion but rather “the military adventurism of Israel which has claimed more than 22,000 lives… Confronted with images of children’s corpses, destroyed homes, bombed hospitals and damaged United Nations humanitarian agency offices and compounds in Gaza, anyone would criticize the perpetrators.”

Professor Wang concludes:

Israel’s military operations in Gaza cannot be justified… Therefore, it’s unreasonable to label China as anti-Semitic or equate the criticisms of Israel’s military adventurism with anti-Semitism. China is against all kinds of anti-Semitism, including the irresponsible and meaningless weaponization of anti-Semitism.

By Jan 2, Israel’s military adventurism in the Gaza Strip had claimed the lives of more than 22,000 people, the majority being women and children, inviting a wave of criticism and condemnation from around the world. But some Israeli and Western media outlets have chosen to target Chinese netizens, accusing them of “anti-Semitism” for criticizing Israel’s military policy. Such criticism, if not an attempt to confuse right and wrong and to call a stag a horse, is an attempt to deny history or misrepresent it.

The term “anti-Semitism” refers to prejudice, discrimination and hatred against Jews, their religion and culture. Since the time of the Diaspora, Jews scattered across the world have faced anti-Semitism. They have been discriminated against, expelled from different lands and even massacred because of their ethnicity and religion. They have been forced to wear special markings, move into ghettos and pay extra protection fees to governments. The Holocaust, perpetrated by Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s, is the worst genocide in history and a tragic irony of modern Western civilization.

In contrast, a thriving Jewish community once flourished in Kaifeng, capital of China during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). The Jews, known locally as the “blue-capped Huihui”, eventually integrated into Chinese society, making it the only anthropological case of Jewish assimilation in a non-Jewish society.

Even in modern China, there is no place for anti-Semitism. Among the Jews who came to China in modern times were both Sephardic Jews, who followed in the footsteps of the Western colonizers, and Ashkenazi Jews, who fled the anti-Semitic persecution in Europe, and Russia following the October Revolution and the subsequent Russian Civil War.

During World War II, when the Nazis were killing Jews by the millions in Europe, Shanghai, which faced Japanese imperialist aggression, became for some time the proverbial Noah’s Ark for many Jewish refugees, with a group of Chinese left-wing leaders led by Lu Xun and Soong Ching-ling taking to the streets to protest against the fascist policies of Nazi Germany.

More importantly, He Fengshan, a Chinese diplomat in Vienna, risked everything to issue “life visas” to thousands of Jews so they could escape Hitler’s murderous persecution. The Chinese national government at the time even planned to settle the Jews in Yunnan province but could not do so because of the Japanese military’s pressure.

Back to the Gaza conflict, Chinese netizens have mainly criticized the military adventurism of Israel which has claimed more than 22,000 lives. Such criticisms cannot be equated with hatred or discrimination against the Jewish people. Confronted with images of children’s corpses, destroyed homes, bombed hospitals and damaged United Nations humanitarian agency offices and compounds in Gaza, anyone would criticize the perpetrators.

Regardless of the pretexts cited by Israel, such military operations are unacceptable and go against the very reason why the international community supported the creation of the state of Israel in the first place — Israel was created based on the UN Partition Plan (Resolution 181) in November 1947.

Even in the light of international political realities, Israel’s military operations in Gaza cannot be justified. The ruling Hamas dispensation in Gaza is both an armed nonstate actor and a transnational ideological and social movement. And the policy of “de-Hamasization” pursued by Israel in Gaza is not a viable military objective. In other words, no matter how much Israel achieves militarily in Gaza, it will be difficult for it to rid itself of the moral stigma of carrying out the military operation, and thus weaken the moral basis of the policies of Israel and its allies.

Any attempt to distort such criticisms and claim they are “anti-Semitic”, or to weaponize “anti-Semitism” without regard for the facts will hurt those who love peace, and benefit those who are not. Chinese people are genuinely concerned about peace being restored in the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Therefore, it’s unreasonable to label China as anti-Semitic or equate the criticisms of Israel’s military adventurism with anti-Semitism. China is against all kinds of anti-Semitism, including the irresponsible and meaningless weaponization of anti-Semitism.

Chinese envoy warns against forced displacement of Palestinians

China’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Zhang Jun has warned of the consequences of forcibly displacing Palestinians from Gaza and renewed his country’s call for an immediate ceasefire.

Speaking at a meeting of the UN Security Council on January 12, Zhang noted that, in less than 100 days, more than 23,000 people have been killed and 90 per cent of the Gazan population has been displaced.

Referring to Israeli calls for so-called “voluntary migration” from Gaza, he said:

“That  would mean driving two million people out of Gaza and turning Gaza into a so-called safe zone devoid of human habitation. If put into practice, such a horrific idea would constitute atrocity crimes under international law and would completely destroy the prospect of the two-state solution.”

Demanding that Israel must fulfill its obligations as the occupying power, ensure the safety of humanitarian workers and provide full cooperation in humanitarian relief efforts, and calling for Security Council action in that regard, Zhang underlined the urgency of a ceasefire, adding:

“Yet a permanent member of the Security Council has been using various excuses to block consensus on this issue by using its veto power. This is blatant contempt for international fairness and justice and for the authority of the Security Council.”

And on the question of genocide, he pointedly remarked: “Some people have constantly talked about the protection of human rights and the prevention of genocide, while, in the face of the appalling situation in Gaza, they have played dumb, kept stonewalling and attempted to deflect attention,” adding that this was using double standards. 

Regarding the aggression of the United States and Britain against Yemen he said that it would undoubtedly exacerbate regional tensions.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy on Friday warned of the consequences of forcibly displacing Palestinians from Gaza and stressed the importance of an immediate cease-fire.

Nearly 100 days into the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, more than 23,000 people in Gaza and over 200 United Nations (UN) personnel and journalists have lost their lives, and 90 percent of the population of Gaza has been displaced, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council meeting.

Regarding the rhetoric of “voluntary migration” out of Gaza, he said any forced displacement of Palestinians must be firmly rejected.

“That would mean driving 2 million people out of Gaza and turning Gaza into a so-called safe zone devoid of human habitation. If put into practice, such a horrific idea would constitute atrocity crimes under international law and would completely destroy the prospect of the two-state solution,” said Zhang.

In addition, Zhang called for all-out efforts to alleviate the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

Israel must fulfill its obligations as the occupying power, ensure the safety of humanitarian workers and provide full cooperation in humanitarian relief efforts, he said.

China supports further action by the Security Council to remove obstacles to the safe, rapid and unimpeded entry of sufficient humanitarian supplies into Gaza, he said.

Meanwhile, Zhang called for efforts to promote a cease-fire in Gaza with utmost urgency.

Only a cease-fire can prevent greater civilian casualties and humanitarian disasters, and only a cease-fire can prevent the entire Middle East region from being devoured by calamity, he said.

It is worrying that instead of seeing prospects for an immediate cease-fire, the conflict is expanding, he said.

An immediate cease-fire has become the overwhelming call of the international community. Yet a permanent member of the Security Council has been using various excuses to block consensus on this issue in the Security Council by using its veto power. This is blatant contempt for international fairness and justice and for the authority of the Security Council, said Zhang.

“Some people have constantly talked about the protection of human rights and the prevention of genocide, while, in the face of the appalling situation in Gaza, they have played dumb, kept stonewalling and attempted to deflect attention,” he said, adding that this was using double standards. “It is imperative that we remove all interference and take robust action to end the fighting, save lives, and restore peace.”

China urges the international community, especially countries with major influence, to make the realization of a cease-fire the overriding urgent task, he said.

China is concerned about the spillover effects of the Gaza conflict on the situation in the Red Sea. The military action launched by the United States and Britain against Yemen will undoubtedly exacerbate regional tensions, Zhang said.

‘Al Aqsa Storm’ reshapes the Middle East

In the following article, which was originally published in the Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune on December 29, 2023, Mushahid Hussain Syed, the Chairman of the Defence Committee in the Pakistan Senate, and a member of our Advisory Group, analyses the strategic implications for Israel and the United States, including for US policy towards China, following the launch of the ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’ by the Palestinian resistance on October 7, 2023.

According to Senator Mushahid, Israel’s and the United States’ “hubris, supreme over-confidence and carefully laid-down plans for maintaining an iniquitous status quo now lie buried under the rubble in Gaza.” He writes:

“To counter the Iran-led ‘Axis of Resistance’, the US cobbled an ‘Axis of Repression’ to maintain the regional status quo, freezing disputes like Palestine and Kashmir to combat the ‘real enemy’, China. Washington was endeavouring to connect an Israel-centred Middle East with an India-focused ‘Indo-Pacific’, to supplement and support the American-led New Cold War against China. Essentially, India is replicating Israeli policies of repression in Occupied Kashmir, with American complicity, so US regional strategy would rest on ‘twin pillars’, Israel in the Middle East and India in South Asia.”

Just a fortnight before the launch of the ‘Al Aqsa Storm’, three separate but related developments corroborated this policy:

  • On 22 September, Netanyahu proudly unfolded the map of the ‘New Middle East’ at the United Nations General Assembly, where the Palestinians were conspicuously absent.
  • On 20 September, following the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, the India-Israel Middle East-European Union Corridor (IMEC) was launched with much fanfare, touted as the West’s copycat response to China’s highly successful Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • In May 2023, President Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan personally took his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, to meet Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to “advance their shared vision of a more secure and prosperous Middle East region interconnected with India and the world”. And on October 2, Jake Sullivan wrote in the influential Foreign Affairs magazine that “the Middle East has never been so calm before as it is today.” Five days later, ‘Al Aqsa Storm’ shattered that calm.

Senator Mushahid goes on to outline the six strategic consequences of a reshaped Middle East that have emerged as a result of ‘Al-Aqsa Storm’:

  • Israel and the United States were trying to ‘stage Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark’, in other words, build a ‘New Middle East’ minus Palestine. That policy is now in tatters: no durable peace or stability is possible in the Middle East without an independent Palestinian State.
  • A myth had been created about invincibility of the Israeli army and intelligence. Some 1,400 determined Palestinian fighters blew up that myth through ‘Al Aqsa Storm’ on October 7.
  • Israel presented itself as a safe haven, an ‘island of peace and tranquillity in a sea of a turbulent, volatile and weak Muslim World’. Now they say they have suffered the biggest casualties since the Holocaust.
  • The ‘Axis of Resistance’ led by Iran has shown itself more resilient than the ‘Axis of Repression’, as the Iran-led troika of Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthis of Yemen, have tightened the tactical noose around shipping lanes, diplomacy and military strategy in the Middle East, and Tehran is now central to Middle East stability. Instead of the encirclement and containment of Iran, it is Israel that is now feeling encircled.
  • ‘Al Aqsa Storm’ was apparently celebrated in Moscow as the ‘best birthday gift’ to President Putin as the Ukraine War is now relegated to the back-burner and now the US is suddenly facing a three-front situation: Ukraine, New Cold War in Asia-Pacific against China, and the storm in the Middle East, an untenable strategic scenario for Washington policymakers.
  • ‘Al Aqsa Storm’ is giving birth to a clear, new global South-North divide. The Global South, spearheaded by China, with a supportive Russia, is presenting a strategic option, an alternative worldview, to the US-led Global North, whether it’s Gaza or Ukraine or BRI or the hegemony of the dollar. The global centre of gravity is shifting inexorably to the South, and the ‘Al Aqsa Storm’ has accentuated this divide, as evidenced in the voting at the United Nations.

Senator Mushahid also notes that: “Gaza is also the first televised genocide in history. Despite Israel’s brutal capacity to kill, the Palestinians are unwavering in their determination and willingness to resist and die for the cause of freedom. The Palestinians are winning by not losing.”

The October 7, 2023 Operation ‘Al Aqsa Storm’ launched by the Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied Gaza has broader strategic implications for Israel and the US, whose hubris, supreme over-confidence and carefully laid-down plans for maintaining an iniquitous status quo now lie buried under the rubble in Gaza.

To counter the Iran-led ‘Axis of Resistance’, the US cobbled an ‘Axis of Repression’ to maintain the regional status quo, freezing disputes like Palestine and Kashmir to combat the ‘real enemy’, China. Washington was endeavouring to connect an Israel-centred Middle East with an India-focused ‘Indo-Pacific’, to supplement and support the American-led New Cold War against China. Essentially, India is replicating Israeli policies of repression in Occupied Kashmir, with American complicity, so US regional strategy would rest on ‘twin pillars’, Israel in the Middle East and India in South Asia.

Just a fortnight before the launch of the ‘Al Aqsa Storm’, three separate but related developments corroborated this policy. One, on 22 September, Netanyahu proudly unfolded the map of the ‘New Middle East’ at the United Nations General Assembly, where the Palestinians were conspicuously absent. Two, on 20 September, following the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, the India-Israel Middle East European Union Corridor (IMEC) was launched with much fanfare, touted as the West’s copycat response to China’s highly successful Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). Three, in May 2023, President Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan personally took his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, to meet Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to “advance their shared vision of a more secure and prosperous Middle East region interconnected with India and the world”. And on October 2, Jake Sullivan wrote in the influential Foreign Affairs magazine that “the Middle East has never been so calm before as it is today.” Five days later, ‘Al Aqsa Storm’ shattered that calm! In fact, the Biden Administration is the first US Administration in 50 years that even dispensed with the fig-leaf of initiating a ‘peace process’ for the Middle East, being content with the Israeli-propped status quo of a coercive occupation.

Continue reading ‘Al Aqsa Storm’ reshapes the Middle East

How China is working for justice for Palestine

Republished below is a useful analysis by Jenny Clegg (retired academic and an activist in the anti-nuclear, peace and friendship movements, and member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group) about China’s efforts towards a ceasefire in Gaza and towards a lasting, just solution to the Palestinian question.

Jenny summarises China’s recent five-point peace proposal – which calls for a comprehensive ceasefire; the effective protection of civilians; the ensuring of humanitarian assistance; diplomatic mediation; and a political settlement with the implementation of a two-state solution – and notes that China has long seen the root cause of the problem lying in “the long delay in realising the dream of an independent state of Palestine and the failure to redress the historical injustice suffered by the Palestinian people.”

The article discusses the shifting geopolitical balance and how this impacts the prospects for peace in the region. While the US continues to provide unstinting support for Israel and to incorporate it into broader plans for countering China (via the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, for example), China is becoming more active in promoting a lasting peace. It played a key role in the recent Iran-Saudi rapprochement; it has good relations with the other countries of the region; and it has a decades-long history of support for Palestinian national rights.

The global balance of power is shifting, and “the locus of decision-making over world affairs is starting to slip out of the hands of the US superpower.” Jenny opines that, as such, China’s proposal is “the one viable route towards inclusive negotiations to secure justice for Palestine.”

Addressing the criticism made by some on the left regarding China’s vocal support for the two-state solution, Jenny notes that “the two-state solution is the position of the UN: it stands for Palestinian sovereignty and equality and has to be the starting point of negotiations, not just bargained away.”

This article first appeared in the Morning Star.

China’s five-point peace proposal on Israel-Palestine was launched at the UN security council to coincide with the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people on November 30.

It covers a comprehensive ceasefire; the effective protection of civilians; the ensuring of humanitarian assistance; diplomatic mediation; and a political settlement with the implementation of a two-state solution.

The initiative has been entirely passed over in the West; China on the other hand underlined its significance by sending Foreign Minister Wang Yi to chair the session and deliver the proposal.

China sees the root cause of the problem lying in “the long delay in realising the dream of an independent state of Palestine and the failure to redress the historical injustice suffered by the Palestinian people.”

At the same time, it has called for an international peace conference to be held as soon as possible to draw up a timetabled road map for a two-state solution.

Given that the UN, EU, US, Britain, China and Russia all claim to support a two-state solution, how hard can it be to get an agreement?

Geopolitics at work

Since taking office, Biden has sought to further secure Israel’s position as its proxy in the Middle East so as to shift US focus to the Indo-Pacific. Along with the Abraham Accords, normalising relations between Israel and regional states, he set up the I2U2 — the Middle Eastern Quad — comprising the US, Israel, India and the UAE, hyping up the Iran “threat” as part of his New cold war “democracy versus autocracy” agenda against Russia and China.

The Saudi Arabia-Iran agreement brokered by China with the UAE in March 2023 turned everything upside down. Biden then launched yet another initiative, IMEC — the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor — taking Israel as the key link between India and Europe to counter China’s growing reach into the Middle East through the Belt and Road Initiative.

China’s relations with the region have grown steadily over the past two decades, replacing the EU as its main trading partner, or in Israel’s case, the second largest trading partner.

Many on the left criticise China’s purchases of military technology in particular but, for China, Israel provides a vital source of access to critical tech sectors increasingly restricted by the US and EU. These economic relations however are not stopping China’s sharp criticisms of Israel’s “collective punishment.”

Regional powers have also been looking east to the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation: Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia became dialogue partners in 2021, followed by UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait in 2022.

With the Saudi Arabia-Iran deal in place, Iran joined the SCO as a full member in July; and Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, and Egypt were accepted into the Brics in August. In haste, Biden pressed for Saudi Arabia to sign up to the Abraham Accords, pushing Palestinian concerns to the sidelines.

With the Middle East in flux and Biden overreaching, Hamas struck.

China, Palestine and the UN

Not so much a power struggle between China and the US, what is taking place is the rise of the Middle East itself: China has not picked sides, developing all-round relations rather than interfering, aiming to de-escalate tensions and so creating some space for regional states to exercise choices as to their own futures.

China has been consistent in supporting UN commitments to an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. Questioning the viability of a two-state arrangement, some on the left have favoured a single state.

The point however is that the two-state solution is the position of the UN: it stands for Palestinian sovereignty and equality and has to be the starting point of negotiations, not just bargained away.

At the same time, China also stipulates that arrangements must “respect the will and independent choice of the Palestinian people,” and must not be imposed. Similarly, China has not condemned Hamas, seeing this as for the Palestinian people to decide.

Palestine’s future is integrally intertwined with that of the UN — the organisation’s responsibility for international peace and security has been constantly undermined by the US’s use of the veto — around half of these occasions to protect Israel.

However, with the global balance of power shifting, the locus of decision-making over world affairs is starting to slip out of the hands of the US superpower. China’s peace proposal calls instead for the US to play an “active and constructive role” in Israel-Palestine.

This, it is recognised, requires patient consensus-building, regional and international, using momentum from the rise of the global South to bridge divisions and bring political pressure to bear on the US.

Consensus-building for peace

A struggle is underway now for Gaza’s future: for weeks Biden has urged Israel to focus on Plan B — to have any credibility this needs to involve some Arab states, perhaps some rehash of the Oslo Accords.

Continuing to use its veto to cover Netanyahu’s murderous rampage, the US angles not least to foment chaos and division in the region by provoking Iran into action in support of Hamas — and in this way to maintain US leverage over the situation.

The Saudi-Iranian link on the other hand has helped in bringing the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic States (OIC) together, amidst UN delays, to pursue the call for a ceasefire; the Brics, with key Middle East powers now members, also has a significant role to play.

Both groups are important to the changing world balance: the Arab-Islamic summit represents 79 countries, over half the global South; the Brics as large developing countries make up 40 per cent of the world’s population and one-third of the world GDP.

In the case of the Brics, despite India’s pro-Israel leanings, Al Jazeera reported that splits were “not glaring” at a special summit which called on “all parties to exercise maximum restraint,” and affirmed that “a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can be achieved by peaceful means.”

The Arab League-OIC summit also called for a credible peace process based on the two-state solution with a specific time frame. These at least are shifts in the right direction. Acting in concert with China, these groups can give weight to the international conference proposal against US manoeuvrings.

While recognising the importance of regional powers, China’s initiative also looks to “countries with influence on parties to the conflict” to jointly “play a constructive role in de-escalating the crisis.”

This then is not about expelling the US from the Middle East but restricting its options: ending the region’s subjection to US power is not so much about severing links but rather looking both West and East towards China to steer towards a green, digitised transition.

In contrast with 2003, when the US, unable to get support from the UN, took unilateral action against Iraq, there is now no “coalition of the willing” — the US was alone in backing Israel at the security council.

With the region on the brink of wider war, an international peace agreement is all the more urgent.

It is time now for the new “ceasefire” coalitions in the West to join the call for a genuine political settlement and guard against another US-initiated “colonial” solution. Ideological canards should be set aside to support China’s proposal as the one viable route towards inclusive negotiations to secure justice for Palestine.

Wang Yi: Any arrangement concerning the future of Palestine must be Palestinian-owned and Palestinian-administered

China has recently intensified its diplomatic engagement with Iran, not least in the context of Israel’s genocidal war of aggression against the people of Gaza. 

As part of that process, China’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Wang Yi exchanged views on the situation in Gaza, as well as on bilateral relations, in a December 11 phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. 

Wang said that China’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can be summarised as realising a ceasefire and ending the conflict as soon as possible, ensuring humanitarian relief, and returning to the two-state solution.

Amir-Abdollahian highly appreciated China’s efforts to achieve a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza during its rotating presidency of the UN Security Council last month. He said the Iranian side opposes the killing of women and children and advocates an immediate ceasefire and cessation of fighting in Gaza and opening humanitarian relief corridors.

Iran, he added, supports the Global Security Initiative proposed by China and expects China to be more actively committed to easing the situation in Gaza, resolving the Palestinian question, and safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Wang said China’s position is consistent with that of Arab countries and is highly congruous with that of Islamic countries and the international community. Countries should raise a stronger voice and form a more unified position on the conflict.

China, the foreign minister underlined, believes that any arrangement concerning the future and destiny of Palestine should fully reflect the will of the Palestinian people, fully respect their right to statehood and self-determination, and embody the principle of “Palestinian-owned, Palestinian-led and Palestinian-administered.”

He also said that China supports Iran and Saudi Arabia in continuously improving relations, promoting the unity and cooperation of countries in the region and taking regional peace and security in their own hands.

Amir-Abdollahian thanked China for its contribution to mediating the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, saying that Iran is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in various fields and promote the continuous development of Iran-China relations.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian exchanged views on the situation in the Gaza Strip and bilateral relations during a phone conversation on Monday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said China’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can be summarized as realizing a cease-fire and ending the conflict as soon as possible, ensuring humanitarian relief, and returning to the two-state solution.

Amir-Abdollahian highly appreciated China’s efforts to achieve a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza during its rotating presidency of the UN Security Council.

He said the Iranian side opposes the killing of women and children and advocates an immediate cease-fire and cessation of fighting in Gaza and opening humanitarian relief corridors.

The United Nations should play an important role in the future settlement of the Palestinian question, he said, adding that Iran is willing to maintain close communication with regional countries to safeguard regional security and stability.

The Iranian side supports the Global Security Initiative proposed by China and expects China to be more actively committed to easing the situation in Gaza, resolving the Palestinian question, and safeguarding regional peace and stability, the top Iranian diplomat said.

Wang said China’s position is consistent with that of Arab countries and is highly congruous with that of Islamic countries and the international community.

Countries should make a stronger voice and form a more unified position on the conflict, Wang said.

China believes that any arrangement concerning the future and destiny of Palestine should fully reflect the will of the Palestinian people, fully respect their right to statehood and self-determination, and embody the principle of “Palestinian-owned, Palestinian-led and Palestinian-administered,” he said.

China is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with Arab and Islamic countries to gradually create conditions for returning to the two-state solution and continue to play a role in truly resolving the Palestinian question, he said.

On bilateral ties, Wang said China stands ready to work with Iran to implement the important consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during their two meetings this year.

He said China will strengthen communication, consolidate mutual trust, expand cooperation, coordinate and cooperate with Iran on international and multilateral occasions, practice genuine multilateralism, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the two countries and developing countries as well as international equity and justice, and push forward the stable and long-term development of China-Iran relations.

China supports Iran and Saudi Arabia in continuously improving relations, promoting the unity and cooperation of countries in the region and taking regional peace and security in their own hands, Wang said.

Amir-Abdollahian thanked China for its contribution to mediating the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, saying that Iran is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in various fields and promote the continuous development of Iran-China relations. 

China’s position paper calls for comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza

On Thursday 30 November, China released a position paper on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The paper reiterates China’s longstanding position of support for the national rights of the Palestinian people, and sets out realistic proposals for a peaceful and durable solution to the crisis in Gaza and its underlying factors.

In sharp contrast to the statements made by the Western powers, which have largely given a carte blanche to Israel in its brutal assault on Gaza, China’s position paper calls for a comprehensive and immediate ceasefire, and for an end to the forced transfer of Palestinians – which by any reasonable definition must be considered as ethnic cleansing.

The position paper states that there will be no lasting peace without the “restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

It is worth noting that China is a longstanding friend of the Palestinian people and supporter of Palestinian national rights. In a letter to Ahmad al-Shukeiri, president of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), dated 6 June 1967, Premier Zhou Enlai wrote: “The Chinese people will forever remain comrades-in-arms of the Palestinian people and the people of the Arab countries in the struggle against imperialism.”

This was four years before the People’s Republic of China’s rightful seat at the United Nations was restored. Since taking up its position in the UN General Assembly and Security Council, China has been a loud and consistent voice on the international stage in favour of justice for the Palestinian people.

China sent its first aid to the Palestinian people in 1960, and when the PLO was founded in 1964, China became the first non-Arab country to recognise it. It was also one of the first countries to recognise the State of Palestine – on 20 November 1988. Indeed Yasser Arafat – historic leader of the Palestinian resistance and Chairman of the PLO from 1969 to 2004 – stated in 1970 that “China is the biggest influence in supporting our revolution and strengthening its perseverance.”

In May 2013, just two months after his election as president, Xi Jinping put forward a four-point proposal for the settlement of the Palestinian question, highlighting his personal commitment to the cause. This proposal was pragmatic and realistic, and centred around the demand for an independent, viable Palestinian state enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. Xi reiterated this demand in a new three-point proposal for settlement of the Palestinian question, put forward during discussions with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing in June this year.

In response to the current crisis raging in Gaza, Xi has commented that “the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence, and their right of return have long been ignored.” China’s often-repeated demand – for a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital and with the right of return for Palestinian refugees – reflects the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, and is consistent with the position of the PLO and the Arab League, and furthermore with UN General Assembly Resolution 3236, adopted in 1974, which affirms the Palestinians’ right to national independence and sovereignty.

With Israel committing war crimes on a vast scale in Gaza – targeting hospitals, schools, residential buildings, refugee camps and mosques, and killing civilians in their thousands – China has persistently called for a ceasefire, a position supported by the vast majority of the world’s countries, although unfortunately not the US and Britain.

Addressing an extraordinary joint meeting of the leaders of the BRICS countries last week, President Xi called for the convening of an international peace conference to build international consensus and to create a path towards Palestinian statehood. He stated: “The only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine.”

With its facilitation of a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia earlier this year, China has shown that it has a valuable role to play in helping to resolve conflicts in the Middle East region. This is why, earlier this month, a delegation of foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries seeking to find a solution to the Gaza crisis chose China as the first destination of their ministerial tour.

It is increasingly clear to the peoples of the world that while the imperialist powers cling on to their old habits of war, aggression, unilateralism and coercion, China is working determinedly and resolutely for peace, development, multipolarity and common prosperity.

The full text of the position paper is republished below, along with a report from the Chinese Foreign Ministry of President Xi Jinping’s message of congratulations to the 30 November UN meeting marking the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People.

Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

The current Palestinian-Israeli conflict has caused heavy civilian casualties and a serious humanitarian disaster. It is a grave concern of the international community. President Xi Jinping stated China’s principled position on the current Palestinian-Israeli situation on a number of occasions. He stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire and ending the fighting, ensuring that the humanitarian corridors are safe and unimpeded, and preventing the expansion of the conflict. He pointed out that the fundamental way out of this lies in the two-state solution, building international consensus for peace, and working toward a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question at an early date.

Pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council shoulders primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and should thus play an active and constructive role on the question of Palestine. In this connection, China offers the following proposals:

Continue reading China’s position paper calls for comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza

Xi Jinping: the collective punishment of people in Gaza must stop

On November 21, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed an extraordinary joint meeting of the leaders of the BRICS countries, along with the leaders of those countries who have been invited to join the cooperation mechanism from January 1, 2024, called to discuss the situation in the Middle East with particular reference to Gaza. The meeting was held virtually and was initiated by the current chair of BRICS, President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa. 

In his address to the meeting, President Xi said that China is gravely concerned that the current conflict is causing enormous civilian casualties and a humanitarian disaster. He stressed that the collective punishment of people in Gaza in the form of forced transfer or water, electricity and fuel deprivation must stop and continued:

“The root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli situation is the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence, and their right of return have long been ignored. I have emphasised on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. There can be no sustainable peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. China calls for early convening of an international peace conference that is more authoritative to build international consensus for peace and work toward an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable.”

He also outlined the humanitarian assistance that China has so far provided to the Palestinian people in the current situation, adding that, “China will provide more supplies and assistance according to the needs of the people in Gaza.”

We reprint the full text of President Xi’s remarks below. They were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Working Toward a Ceasefire and Realizing Lasting Peace and Sustainable Security

Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the Extraordinary Joint Meeting of BRICS Leaders
And Leaders of Invited BRICS Members
On the Situation in the Middle East with Particular Reference to Gaza

November 21, 2023

Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Colleagues,

This is our first summit since the expansion of BRICS. Before I speak about the issue of our discussion, I wish to extend a warm welcome to leaders of new BRICS members and express my thanks to President Ramaphosa and the South African government for your efforts that have made our meeting possible. Given the current circumstances, it is very timely and very important that we meet and speak up for justice and for peace on the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

The conflict in Gaza is raging on into its second month. China is gravely concerned that the conflict is causing enormous civilian casualties and a humanitarian disaster, and tends to expand and spill over. China believes that the following is urgent and imperative: First, the parties to the conflict must end hostilities and achieve a ceasefire immediately, stop all violence and attacks against civilians, release civilians held captive, and act to prevent loss of more lives and spare people from more miseries. Second, humanitarian corridors must be kept secure and unimpeded, and more humanitarian assistance should be provided to the population in Gaza. The collective punishment of people in Gaza in the form of forced transfer or water, electricity and fuel deprivation must stop. Third, the international community must act with practical measures to prevent the conflict from spilling over and endangering stability in the Middle East as a whole. China supports the resolution adopted at the emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly on October 27. The U.N. Security Council under China’s presidency has adopted Resolution 2712. All the parties must act to deliver on these resolutions through concrete measures on the ground.

The root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli situation is the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence, and their right of return have long been ignored. I have emphasized on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. There can be no sustainable peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. China calls for early convening of an international peace conference that is more authoritative to build international consensus for peace and work toward an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable.

Since the outbreak of the latest Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China has been working actively to promote peace talks and a ceasefire. China has provided humanitarian assistance to help ease the humanitarian plight in Gaza. This includes USD 2 million of emergency humanitarian assistance provided through the Palestinian National Authority and U.N. agencies, and emergency humanitarian supplies worth RMB 15 million, such as food and medicine, to the Gaza Strip with the help of Egypt. China will provide more supplies and assistance according to the needs of the people in Gaza. At the U.N. Security Council, China has acted in its capacity as president to facilitate the adoption of the resolution, which calls for extended humanitarian pauses and corridors, the protection of civilians, and the provision of humanitarian assistance.

Colleagues,

The BRICS cooperation mechanism is an important platform for emerging markets and developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and safeguard common interests. Our meeting today to coordinate positions and actions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict marks a good start for greater BRICS cooperation following its enlargement. China commends South Africa for its significant contribution as BRICS chair to advancing BRICS development. As Russia will take over BRICS chairmanship next year, China stands ready to work with other members to jointly support Russia’s work as the chair and usher in a new era for BRICS cooperation.

Thank you.

China calls for Gaza ceasefire and an end to collective punishment

A delegation of Arab-Islamic Foreign Ministers began a two-day visit to China on November 20. Comprised of the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Palestine, along with the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the delegation chose to visit China first on a peace mission where they plan to visit all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Meeting the delegation, China’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister 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. He further noted that today marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Palestine.

Briefing Wang on the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit, which was held in the Saudi city of Riyadh, November 11-12, the visiting ministers, noting the large number of civilian casualties and continued humanitarian disasters in Gaza, said that 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 talks 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 that a pressing task now is to 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.

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. He further stressed that any arrangement concerning the future and destiny of Palestine must be based on the consent of the Palestinian people.

The Chinese Foreign Minister added that 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. 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. 

Chinese Vice President Han Zheng also met with the delegation on November 20.

The below article was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

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 Organisation 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.

Continue reading China calls for Gaza ceasefire and an end to collective punishment

How the war on Gaza has stalled the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

In this article, originally published on People’s Dispatch and produced by Globetrotter, Vijay Prashad explains how the Gaza conflict has likely dealt a fatal blow to the proposed India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), that was proposed by seven countries along with the European Union (EU) at the G20 Summit held in the Indian capital New Delhi in September.

Prashad explains that: “The United States, which was one of the initiators of the IMEC, pushed it as a means to both isolate China and Iran as well as to hasten the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. It seemed like a perfect instrument for Washington: sequester China and Iran, bring Israel and Saudi Arabia together, and deepen ties with India that seemed to have been weakened by India’s reluctance to join the United States in its policy regarding Russia.” However: “Israel’s war on the Palestinians in Gaza has changed the entire equation and stalled the IMEC.”

He further outlines that, even two years before China first unveiled its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in 2011, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had proposed a “new silk road” that would start from India and transit Central Asia. This in turn was part of a wider ‘pivot to Asia’, proposed by President Barack Obama and designed to check the rise of China. 

According to Prashad, even before the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, IMEC was already facing serious challenges:

“The attempt to isolate China appeared illusory, given that the main Greek port in the corridor—at Piraeus—is managed by the China Ocean Shipping Corporation, and that the Dubai Ports have considerable investment from China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan port and the Zhejiang Seaport. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are now members of the BRICS+, and both countries are participants [with the status of Dialogue Partners] in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.” 

Prashad concludes that IMEC will not progress “from paper to port”, “due to Israel’s bombing of Gaza but also due to Washington’s fantasy that it can ‘defeat’ China in an economic war.”

On September 9, 2023, during the G20 meeting in New Delhi, the governments of seven countries and the European Union signed a memorandum of understanding to create an India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. Only three of the countries (India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates or the UAE) would be directly part of this corridor, which was to begin in India, go through the Gulf, and terminate in Greece. The European countries (France, Germany, and Italy) as well as the European Union joined this endeavor because they expected the IMEC to be a trade route for their goods to go to India and for them to access Indian goods at, what they hoped would be, a reduced cost.

The United States, which was one of the initiators of the IMEC, pushed it as a means to both isolate China and Iran as well as to hasten the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. It seemed like a perfect instrument for Washington: sequester China and Iran, bring Israel and Saudi Arabia together, and deepen ties with India that seemed to have been weakened by India’s reluctance to join the United States in its policy regarding Russia.

Israel’s war on the Palestinians in Gaza has changed the entire equation and stalled the IMEC. It is now inconceivable for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to enter such a project with the Israelis. Public opinion in the Arab world is red-hot, with inflamed anger at the indiscriminate bombardment by Israel and the catastrophic loss of civilian life. Regional countries with close relations with Israel—such as Jordan and Turkey—have had to harden their rhetoric against Israel. In the short term, at least, it is impossible to imagine the implementation of the IMEC.

Pivot to Asia

Two years before China inaugurated its “One Belt, One Road” or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the United States had already planned a private-sector-funded trade route to link India to Europe and to tighten the links between Washington and New Delhi. In 2011, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech in Chennai, India, where she spoke of the creation of a New Silk Road that would run from India through Pakistan and into Central Asia. This new “international web and network of economic and transit connections” would be an instrument for the United States to create a new intergovernmental forum and a “free trade zone” in which the United States would be a member (in much the same way as the United States is part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC).

The New Silk Road was part of a wider “pivot to Asia,” as US President Barack Obama put it. This “pivot” was designed to check the rise of China and to prevent its influence in Asia. Clinton’s article in Foreign Policy (“America’s Pacific Century,” October 11, 2011) suggested that this New Silk Road was not antagonistic to China. However, this rhetoric of the “pivot” came alongside the U.S. military’s new AirSea Battle concept that was designed around direct conflict between the United States and China (the concept built on a 1999 Pentagon study called “Asia 2025” which noted that “the threats are in Asia”).

Two years later, the Chinese government said that it would build a massive infrastructure and trade project called “One Belt, One Road,” which would later be called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Over the next ten years, from 2013 to 2023, the BRI investments totaled $1.04 trillion spread out over 148 countries (three-quarters of the countries in the world). In this short period, the BRI project has made a considerable mark on the world, particularly on the poorer nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where the BRI has made investments to build infrastructure and industry.

Chastened by the growth of the BRI, the United States attempted to block it through various instruments: the América Crece for Latin America and the Millennium Challenge Corporation for South Asia. The weakness in these attempts was that both relied upon funding from an unenthusiastic private sector.

Complications of the IMEC

Even before the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, IMEC faced several serious challenges.

First, the attempt to isolate China appeared illusory, given that the main Greek port in the corridor—at Piraeus—is managed by the China Ocean Shipping Corporation, and that the Dubai Ports have considerable investment from China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan port and the Zhejiang Seaport. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are now members of the BRICS+, and both countries are participants in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Second, the entire IMEC process is reliant upon private-sector funding. The Adani Group—which has close ties to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has come under the spotlight for fraudulent practices—already owns the Mundra port (Gujarat, India) and the Haifa port (Israel), and seeks to take a share in the port at Piraeus. In other words, the IMEC corridor is providing geopolitical cover for Adani’s investments from Greece to Gujarat.

Third, the sea lane between Haifa and Piraeus would go through waters contested between Turkey and Greece. This “Aegean Dispute” has provoked the Turkish government to threaten war if Greece goes through with its designs.

Fourth, the entire project relied upon the “normalization” between Saudi Arabia and Israel, an extension of the Abraham Accords that drew Bahrain, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates to recognize Israel in August 2020. In July 2022, India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States formed the I2U2 Group, with the intention, among other things, to “modernize infrastructure” and to “advance low-carbon development pathways” through “private enterprise partnerships.” This was the precursor of IMEC. Neither “normalization” with Saudi Arabia nor advancement of the I2U2 process between the UAE and Israel seem possible in this climate. Israel’s bombardment of the Palestinians in Gaza has frozen this process.

Previous Indian trade route projects, such as the International North-South Trade Corridor (with India, Iran, and Russia) and the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (led by India and Japan), have not gone from paper to port for a host of reasons. These, at least, had the merit of being viable. IMEC will suffer the same fate as these corridors, to some extent due to Israel’s bombing of Gaza but also due to Washington’s fantasy that it can “defeat” China in an economic war

China’s impassioned plea for a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict

China, which this month holds the rotating chair of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), has made a further impassioned plea for a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict. 

Addressing an emergency UNSC meeting on November 10, China’s permanent representative to the UN, Zhang Jun said that the call for a ceasefire was by no means a diplomatic statement, “It is the only hope for the people of Gaza to survive.”

Referring to the United States, in particular, which has repeatedly vetoed calls for a ceasefire, he added that China calls on “all parties, especially the major power that has a unique influence on the parties, to put aside all geopolitical considerations and double standards and focus all efforts on the goal of a ceasefire and an end to the fighting. We urge Israel to curb the intensifying settler violence in the West Bank so as to avoid… the spread of conflict.”

Zhang Jun added that: “When tens of thousands of people, including more than 4,000 children, have lost their lives; when more than 1.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes; when 2.3 million people continue to be cut off from water, electricity, fuel, food and medicine; and when hospitals, schools, refugee camps, and UN facilities have been frequently targeted, this is not only a humanitarian crisis, but, as described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, a crisis of humanity.” 

He went in to say that earlier in the day he had met with representatives of Palestine and other Arab countries as well as from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“From our conversation, I was deeply struck by the pain they have deep in their hearts, by their hope for the resumption of peace, and by their expectation for the Council to take effective actions.”

“In the face of all this, the world must speak out together: Enough is enough,” Zhang said, adding that “the Security Council must do away with the obstruction and interference of some members and take immediate, responsible, and meaningful action to uphold justice and maintain peace.”

Zhang also expressed grave concern over and strong opposition to the clear violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza.

“We urge an end to the collective punishment of civilians… We call on Israel to immediately lift the siege and completely remove restrictions on livelihood supplies, especially fuel delivery to humanitarian and medical institutions and livelihood facilities.”

Noting that over the past two weeks, just over 500 trucks had entered Gaza, Zhang described this as “but a drop in the bucket for the people of Gaza who are struggling on the brink of death.”

Turning to the post-conflict scenario, with Israel threatening to reoccupy Gaza, Zhang said: “These days, we also hear frequent discussions about the day after for Gaza. Regarding this, it must be pointed out that no arrangement for Gaza can be imposed on the Palestinian people… The future of Palestine must be and can only be decided by the Palestinian people themselves.”

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, on Friday called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestine.

“A ceasefire and an end to the fighting cannot be delayed. A ceasefire is by no means a diplomatic statement. It is the only hope for the people of Gaza to survive,” Zhang told the UN Security Council emergency meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli situation.

Noting that the current round of conflict has been going on for 35 days and the situation continues to deteriorate, he said: “We call on all parties, especially the major power that has a unique influence on the parties, to put aside all geopolitical considerations and double standards and focus all efforts on the goal of a ceasefire and an end to the fight. We urge Israel to curb the intensifying settler violence in the West Bank so as to avoid the concurring hotspot and the spread of conflict.”

“When tens of thousands of people, including more than 4,000 children, have lost their lives; when more than 1.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes; when 2.3 million people continue to be cut off from water, electricity, fuel, food and medicine; and when hospitals, schools, refugee camps, and UN facilities have been frequently targeted, this is not only a humanitarian crisis, but, as described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, a crisis of humanity,” he added.

Zhang said he met with representatives of Palestine and other Arab countries and those from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation earlier in the day.

“From our conversation, I was deeply struck by the pain they have deep in their hearts, by their hope for the resumption of peace, and by their expectation for the Council to take effective actions,” he said.

“In the face of all this, the world must speak out together: Enough is enough,” Zhang said, adding that “the Security Council must do away with the obstruction and interference of some members and take immediate, responsible, and meaningful action to uphold justice and maintain peace.”

Stressing the importance of protecting civilians, the envoy said, “We condemn all violence and attacks against civilians. We express our grave concern over and strong opposition to the clear violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza.”

“We urge an end to the collective punishment of civilians. We demand the safety and humanitarian needs of hostages be guaranteed and call for diplomatic efforts to facilitate their early release,” he added.

More than 1,300 children and their families are trapped in the rubble with their lives at stake, Zhang said, adding, “We support the Council to take emergency actions in this regard to facilitate a sustained truce of multiple days and an immediate opening of a green corridor for specialized agencies and equipment to enter Gaza to carry out search and rescue operations, so as to do our utmost to save children.”

The Council should also respond to the joint appeal made by the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Marwan Jilani, Director General of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, to establish a medical evacuation mechanism so that pregnant women and the seriously injured and sick in Gaza can be transferred and treated promptly, he continued.

Zhang also called for the delivery of supplies to resume, noting it “cannot be delayed.”

“We call on Israel to immediately lift the siege and completely remove restrictions on livelihood supplies, especially fuel delivery to humanitarian and medical institutions and livelihood facilities,” he said.

Over the past two weeks, just over 500 trucks have entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing, a drop in the bucket for the people of Gaza who are struggling on the brink of death, Zhang said. “All crossings into Gaza should be utilized, and the Kerem Shalom crossing should be opened as soon as possible.”

“These days, we also hear frequent discussions about the day after for Gaza. Regarding this, it must be pointed out that no arrangement for Gaza can be imposed on the Palestinian people,” said the ambassador, adding that “No solution to the current situation can deviate from the two-state solution. The future of Palestine must be and can only be decided by the Palestinian people themselves.”

The ambassador pledged that China, as president of the Security Council for November, would continue to work with the international community to bring an early end to the fighting and alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

China supports a peaceful coexistence between the Palestinians and the Israelis and long-term peace and security in the Middle East, he said.