Hamas, China representatives Meet in Qatar – Haniyeh praises Beijing’s position on Gaza war

According to a statement on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, on March 17, its envoy, Ambassador Wang Kejian met with Ismail Haniyeh, Politburo Chairman of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, during Wang’s visit to Qatar, where they exchanged views on the Gaza conflict and other issues.

The Palestine Chronicle further reports that:

“According to a statement released by Hamas, Haniyeh ‘emphasised the necessity of quickly stopping the (Israeli) aggression and massacres (in Gaza), the withdrawal of the occupation army, the return of the displaced, providing shelter and (the) reconstruction (of the Strip).’

“Haniyeh also reportedly ‘praised the role that China plays in the Security Council, the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, and in sending humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.’

“For his part, Beijing’s envoy ‘affirmed the close and historical relationship between the Palestinian and Chinese peoples and China’s firm positions towards the Palestinian cause and its support for the just demands of the Palestinian people for freedom, independence, and the establishment of a state.’

“Wang Kejian also ‘emphasised the necessity of stopping this war and ending the killing that the Palestinians are subjected to and providing for their humanitarian needs.’”

The Jerusalem Post further reported that: “[Wang] Keijan visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority last week, meeting with diplomats and discussing the war in Gaza… Additionally, according to Hamas, [Wang] Keijan stressed to Haniyeh that ‘the Hamas movement is part of the Palestinian national fabric and China is keen on relations with it.’”

The following article was originally published by the Palestine Chronicle.

A Chinese foreign ministry envoy met with Ismail Haniyeh, head of the political bureau of the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas, Beijing’s foreign ministry confirmed in a statement on Tuesday. 

In the brief statement, the Chinese ministry said that Chinese Ambassador Wang Kejian met Haniyeh in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, and that the two “exchanged views on the Gaza conflict and other issues”.

According to a statement released by Hamas, Haniyeh “emphasized the necessity of quickly stopping the (Israeli) aggression and massacres (in Gaza), the withdrawal of the occupation army, the return of the displaced, providing shelter and (the) reconstruction (of the Strip).”

Haniyeh also reportedly “praised the role that China plays in the Security Council, the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, and in sending humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.”

For his part, Beijing’s envoy “affirmed the close and historical relationship between the Palestinian and Chinese peoples and China’s firm positions towards the Palestinian cause and its support for the just demands of the Palestinian people for freedom, independence, and the establishment of a state.”

Wang Kejian also “emphasized the necessity of stopping this war and ending the killing that the Palestinians are subjected to and providing for their humanitarian needs.”

This is reportedly the first such meeting between Hamas and China since the beginning of the Israeli war on Gaza, following the military operation carried out on October 7 by Hamas and other Palestinian Resistance groups in southern Israel. 

Right to Armed Struggle

Unlike Washington, which gave total backing to Israel to continue with its war on Gaza, thus refusing international calls for ceasefire, the Chinese position called for the respect of international law. 

Beijing’s position went further by openly supporting the Palestinian people’s right to the use of armed struggle to achieve national liberation. 

Addressing the International Court of Justice on February 22, the Chinese representative said the Palestinians’ use of armed struggle to gain independence from foreign and colonial rule is “legitimate” and “well-founded” in international law.

“In pursuit of the right to self-determination, Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression and complete the establishment of an independent state is (an) inalienable right well founded in international law,” Ma Xinmin told the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Citing resolutions by the UN General Assembly, Beijing’s envoy to the top world court said that people struggling for self-determination could use “all available means, including armed struggle.”

“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,” Ma stated in his address to the ICJ, citing international conventions.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 31,819 Palestinians have been killed, and 73,934 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

China: Palestine has right to armed struggle

In the following article, which was originally published in Workers World, John Catalinotto welcomes the presentation made by senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official Ma Xinmin to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Holland, on February 22, affirming that the Palestinian people have the right in international law to engage in armed struggle. 

He writes that this bold statement “illustrates the worldwide shift in popular support for Palestine and the growing mass anger against the Israeli occupation state and its imperialist enablers,” adding that it, “not only reflects the strength of a massive worldwide movement, it adds to that strength… Even if China’s actions were limited to diplomatic support, the Palestinian position would be strengthened. But the Chinese government has also announced plans to send its third shipment of material aid to Gaza.”

John notes that while the US corporate media constantly attacks on China on a wide range of issues, it had avoided even negative commentary on this statement and concludes:

“China’s positions hold authority with many anti-imperialist and pro-socialist activists and organisations worldwide. Should this statement be publicised it can help build solidarity of communist and workers’ organisations in the imperialist countries with the organisations of different ideologies who are leading the struggle for self-determination in Palestine and in all of West Asia.

“China’s leaders have aided the peoples’ struggles worldwide by taking this bold position in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance.”

Senior Chinese official Ma Xinmin made a powerful statement Feb. 22 before the International Court of Justice that Palestinians have the right to engage in armed struggle, because they live under an illegal Israeli occupation.

Ma, who is director general of the department of treaty and law at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the 15-judge panel in The Hague, Netherlands, that armed struggle differed from terrorism. “In pursuit of the right to self-determination,” said Ma, “Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression and complete the establishment of an independent state is an inalienable right well founded in international law.” (Palestine Chronicle, Feb. 22)

Ma’s statement marked a break with China’s policy prior to Oct. 7, 2023, of normalizing economic and diplomatic ties with Israel. China’s latest statement confronted the U.S.-European Union policy of supporting Israel with military, diplomatic and economic assistance.

While avoiding any military provocation, the Chinese government and Communist Party have consistently defended Chinese sovereignty and Chinese national interests against any challenge from U.S. imperialism and its allies. Ma’s statement extends that defense in the diplomatic arena to the right of the Palestinian people to fight for self-determination.

Reflects mass worldwide support for Palestine

That China’s policy makers would make such a bold challenge illustrates the worldwide shift in popular support for Palestine and the growing mass anger against the Israeli occupation state and its imperialist enablers. It indicates that political leaders are well-aware that hundreds of millions of people around the world are pressuring political actors regarding what position they are taking to stop the genocide in Gaza.

The massive international solidarity with Palestine emboldens those in leadership or vital positions to take steps to stop the massacre of Palestinian civilians, stop the slaughter of children, stop killings that much of the world sees as genocide.

Now a representative of People’s China has said that international law is on the side of the Palestinians. That Palestine has a legitimate fight for self-determination. That Palestinians have the right to wage armed struggle.

“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,” Ma said. (Palestine Chronicle, Feb. 22)

The Chinese statement not only reflects the strength of a massive worldwide movement, it adds to that strength. After all, as much production takes place in China as the next nine countries combined — including the U.S., Germany, Japan, Britain and India. That’s according to the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in Europe.

Even if China’s actions were limited to diplomatic support, the Palestinian position would be strengthened. But the Chinese government has also announced plans to send its third shipment of material aid to Gaza.

Through much of 2023, it seemed the U.S. corporate media, including establishment media like The New York Times, went out of their way to attack some aspects of life in People’s China or policies of the Chinese Communist Party. Strangely enough, there has been no or little coverage of Ma’s statement to the court, not even an attack, as of Feb. 26.

Media based in the Middle East and South Asia, on the contrary, gave Ma’s statement full coverage.

China’s positions hold authority with many anti-imperialist and pro-socialist activists and organizations worldwide. Should this statement be publicized it can help build solidarity of communist and workers’ organizations in the imperialist countries with the organizations of different ideologies who are leading the struggle for self-determination in Palestine and in all of West Asia.

China’s leaders have aided the peoples’ struggles worldwide by taking this bold position in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance.

China: The Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression is an inalienable right

We previously reported on the important statement made by Ma Xinmin, Legal Adviser to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, to the public sitting of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Holland, on the Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, on February 22, 2024.

We now reprint the verbatim record of Ma’s statement, which deals with a number of key aspects of this question, strictly within the parameters of international law and in a comprehensive and forensic manner.

Ma begins by stating that:

“Dealing with the question of Palestine serves as a litmus test for the collective conscience of humanity, the wisdom of the United Nations and the authority of international law. The question of Palestine has persisted for over half a century, inflicting sufferings across generations. Countless Palestinians have been waiting in vain their entire lives, yet there remains no glimmer of hope in their efforts to restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

“China has consistently supported the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights. Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed on multiple occasions that China calls for a comprehensive ceasefire and an early solution to the question of Palestine on the basis of the two-State solution through negotiation.”

Ma then proceeds to address the question as to whether the court, which was asked to give an advisory opinion by the United Nations General Assembly, has the relevant jurisdiction. He states: “The question of Palestine, with its origin in the mandate system under the League of Nations, goes beyond the scope of bilateral affairs between Palestine and Israel. It directly relates to the responsibility of the United Nations on international peace and security. The United Nations has a ‘permanent responsibility’ toward the question of Palestine.”

He then goes into detail regarding how Israel has been violating the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination:

“The Palestinian-Israeli conflict stems from Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory and Israel’s long-standing oppression of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people’s fight against Israeli oppression and their struggle for completing the establishment of an independent State on the occupied territories are, essentially, just actions for restoring their legitimate rights. The right to self-determination serves as the precise legal foundation for their struggle.

“Self-determination of peoples is a fundamental principle of modern international law enshrined in the United Nations Charter and a collective human right under customary international law. In 1955, during the Bandung Conference, the Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister, Zhou Enlai, solemnly declared ‘full support of the principle of self-determination of peoples and nations as set forth in the [UN] Charter’ and ‘took note of the [UN] resolutions on the rights of peoples and nations to self-determination, which is a prerequisite of the full enjoyment of all fundamental Human Rights’ This declaration was fully incorporated into the Final Communiqué of the Bandung Conference.”

On this basis:

“The Palestinian people enjoy the right to self-determination, which includes five main aspects: first, the right to preserve territorial integrity; second, the right to maintain national unity, that is, the Palestinian people, in its group identity, collectively enjoys and exercises the right to self-determination; third, the right to freely determine their political status; fourth, the right to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development; fifth, the right to permanent sovereignty over natural wealth and resources.

“Every State is obliged to promote the realisation of the right to self-determination and to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples of that right. In their pursuit of the right to self-determination, these peoples have the right to engage in struggles, seek and receive support. On the basis of that right, the Palestinian people declared the establishment of the State of Palestine in 1988, which has been recognised by over 130 countries.

“In pursuit of the right to self-determination, the Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression and to complete the establishment of an independent State is an inalienable right well founded in international law. Various peoples freed themselves from colonial rule and foreign oppression to realise independent statehood after World War II. Their practices serve as convincing evidence for this right. Numerous UNGA [United Nations General Assembly] resolutions recognise the legitimacy of struggling by all available means, including armed struggle, by peoples under colonial domination or foreign occupation to realise the right to self-determination. For instance, the UNGA resolution 3070 of 1973 ‘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’.”

This, Ma insists, should not be confused with terrorism: “Armed struggle in this context is distinguished from acts of terrorism. It is grounded in international law. This distinction is acknowledged by several international conventions. For example, Article 3 of the Organisation of African Unity Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism of 1999 provides that ‘the struggle waged by peoples in accordance with the principles of international law for their liberation or self-determination, including armed struggle against colonialism, occupation, aggression and domination by foreign forces shall not be considered as terrorist acts’.”

He then moves on to issues of international law relating to the occupation:

“In China’s view, the question of the Occupied Palestinian Territory involves both the legality of the occupation per se and the legality of Israel’s acts during the occupation. These two aspects are governed by distinct legal frameworks…

“The principle of non-use of force is at the core of jus ad bellum [the conditions under which States may resort to war or to the use of armed force in general]. As a corollary of this principle, the prohibition on the acquisition of territory by force is firmly established in customary international law. Using force to occupy and maintain such occupation for the purposes of territorial acquisition or annexing an occupied territory by force in whole or in part, is each illegal…

“Israel’s occupation has been explicitly recognised as unlawful by several United Nations resolutions…

“China is of the view that the temporary and non-sovereign nature of belligerent occupation means that an occupying Power cannot acquire sovereignty over the territory during the belligerency. Belligerent occupation, under any circumstances, does not have the effect of lawful annexation…

“Fifty-seven years have passed since Israel began its occupation of the Palestinian territory. Regardless of the duration of the occupation, the unlawful nature of the occupation and the sovereignty over the occupied territories remain unchanged.”

These points have particular bearing on the question of East Jerusalem (as well as of Syria’s Golan Heights) as well as the illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Concluding, Ma stated that “justice has been long delayed, but it must not be denied.”

China’s position was welcomed by the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas. According to the Jerusalem Post, its politburo member in charge of international relations Osama Hamdan said in a statement:

“We also appreciate the position expressed by the People’s Republic of China, and its emphasis on the legality of the occupied peoples’ pursuit of self-determination, by various means, including armed resistance, and the necessity not to confuse terrorism with the armed struggle practiced by the Palestinian people against the Zionist occupation.”

The below text was originally published by the International Court of Justice. Ma Xinmin’s statement can also be viewed on UN Web TV.

Continue reading China: The Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression is an inalienable right

‘Disgrace to Civilisation’ – China reiterates call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

In his March 6 press conference, held in the margins of the annual session of China’s main parliamentary body, the National People’s Congress, Foreign Minister Wang Yi described the ongoing genocidal assault on the Palestinian people in Gaza as a “tragedy for humanity and disgrace for civilisation.”

“Nothing justifies the protraction of the conflict or the killing of the civilian population,” he added.

Wang Yi also affirmed his country’s strong support for the “just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights.”

He stressed that China “will continue to work with the international community to restore peace, save lives, and uphold justice”, adding that China supports “Palestine’s bid to become a full member state of the United Nations.”

Reporting this latest statement, the Palestine Chronicle also referred to other recent expressions of China’s support for the Palestinian cause, namely its criticism of the US vetoing (for the third time) of a ceasefire resolution in the United Nations Security Council and its presentation to the International Court of Justice affirming the right in international law for the Palestinian people to engage in armed resistance.

The following article was originally published by the Palestine Chronicle.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip as a “disgrace to civilization,” reiterating his country’s call for an “immediate ceasefire” and affirming its support for full membership of Palestine in the United Nations.

During a press conference on the sidelines of the second session of the National Council in Beijing on Wednesday, the Chinese minister said that “the failure to end this humanitarian disaster today, in the 21st century, is a tragedy for humanity and disgrace for civilization,”

“Nothing justifies the protraction of the conflict or the killing of the civilian population,” he added.

Wang Yi also affirmed his country’s strong support for the “just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights”.

He stressed that China “will continue to work with the international community to restore peace, save lives, and uphold justice” adding that China supports “Palestine’s bid to become a full member state of the United Nations.”

Right to Armed Struggle

On February 21, China sharply criticized the United States for vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Beijing said the move effectively gave a “green light to the continued slaughter” of Palestinians.

One day later, addressing the International Court of Justice, the Chinese representative said the Palestinians’ use of armed struggle to gain independence from foreign and colonial rule is “legitimate” and “well-founded” in international law.

“In pursuit of the right to self-determination, Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression and complete the establishment of an independent state is (an) inalienable right well founded in international law,” Ma Xinmin told the ICJ in The Hague.

Citing resolutions by the UN General Assembly, Beijing’s envoy to the top world court said that people struggling for self-determination could use “all available means, including armed struggle.”

“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,” Ma stated in his address to the ICJ, citing international conventions.

Genocide Continues

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 30,800 Palestinians have been killed, and 72,298 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

China reiterates its solidarity with Syria

The following is the full text of the remarks made by senior Chinese diplomat Dai Bing to the United Nations Security Council briefing on Syria held on February 27th, 2024.

Dai puts forward three points, calling first for containing the spillover effects of the war in Gaza to Syria, noting that, “over the past four months, Israel has continued to launch airstrikes on various locations in Syria through the occupied Golan Heights, about which China is deeply concerned.”

Second, he says that a political solution to the Syrian issue must be promoted. “The international community should uphold the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned principle, encourage dialogue and consultations, and find a solution acceptable to all parties… We support the Syrian government in taking necessary measures to combat terrorism, maintain security and stability, and eliminate the long-term threats to the political process in Syria. The international community must combat all terrorism in Syria with zero tolerance.”

Third, there is a need to work together to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Syria. “Unilateral sanctions and the plundering of resources have long impeded Syria’s economic recovery, social development, and improvement of people’s livelihood, thereby exacerbating the humanitarian disaster in Syria. We urge the countries concerned to immediately end their unlawful acts and foreign forces to immediately end their illegal military presence in Syria.”

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

Madam President,

I would like to thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and Under-Secretary-General Martin Griffiths for their briefings. In light of their briefings, I would like to make the following three points. 

First, containing the spillover effects of the escalation of the Gaza conflict on Syria. Over the past four months, Israel has continued to launch airstrikes on various locations in Syria through the occupied Golan Heights, about which China is deeply concerned. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and to avoid exacerbating tensions. Countries outside the region should play a constructive role in deescalating the situation and preventing the conflict from spreading and expanding.

Second, promoting a political solution to the Syrian issue. China welcomes the successful convening of the 21st round of High-Level Meetings on Syria within the framework of the Astana format as well as Special Envoy Pedersen’s extensive engagement with all parties on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The international community should uphold the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned principle, encourage dialogue and consultations, and find a solution acceptable to all parties. We believe help from regional countries will inject new momentum into the political settlement of the Syrian issue. We support the Syrian Government in taking necessary measures to combat terrorism, maintain security and stability, and eliminate the long-term threats to the political process in Syria. The international community must combat all terrorism in Syria with zero tolerance. 

Third, working together to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Over the past year, the UN and the Syrian Government have maintained effective and smooth communication and cross-border points have been extended several times. We urge the parties concerned to show sincerity and make positive progress in cross-line operations. As humanitarian funding for Syria has long been insufficient, the international community should increase its input in humanitarian assistance to Syria and support humanitarian operations and early recovery projects throughout the country. Unilateral sanctions and the plundering of resources have long impeded Syria’s economic recovery, social development, and improvement of people’s livelihood, thereby exacerbating the humanitarian disaster in Syria. We urge the countries concerned to immediately end their unlawful acts and foreign forces to immediately end their illegal military presence in Syria.

Thank you, Madam President.

Zhang Jun: Israel must halt its collective punishment of the Palestinian people

The following is the full text of the statement by Zhang Jun, China’s Ambassador to the United Nations, at a UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, held on February 22, 2024, in which he forcefully addresses the dire humanitarian situation facing the people of Gaza as a result of Israel’s genocidal war. 

Ambassador Zhang notes that the veto cast by the United States two days previously meant that the council had missed yet another opportunity to push for a ceasefire in Gaza: “The continuation of the conflict even for another day would cause even more civilian casualties and lead to a greater catastrophe…

“We need to point out that the essence of any action of this Council is to achieve an immediate ceasefire. Any message sent out via our action must be clear, unequivocal, unambiguous, and unmistakable, rather than prevaricate or beat about the bush… The military offensive into Rafah must cease immediately. Over 1.5 million Gazans are packed into Rafah having nowhere else to go. Escalated Israeli military incursions into Rafah will result in unthinkable civilian casualties and humanitarian disasters and cause irreparable damage to regional peace. We strongly oppose such actions. Israel should immediately cancel its plan to attack Rafah and halt its collective punishment of the Palestinian people. The International Court of Justice requires that the provisional measures issued to prevent genocide be effectively implemented without delay.”

Endorsing the testimony of the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Zhang said that, “Gaza is becoming a death zone. Millions of people in Gaza lack the basic necessities for survival and are languishing in hunger, in disease, and in despair. Meanwhile, humanitarian relief is hampered by man-made barriers, so much so that it is becoming unsustainable… Israel must take concrete action to open all land, sea, and air routes into Gaza, provide all that is required by humanitarian agencies for their relief operations, and ensure the safety and security of the staff and facilities of humanitarian agencies.”

Turning to the national rights of the Palestinian people, Zhang said: “Independent Palestinian statehood is not a gift given by one party to another in charity, but an inalienable right of the Palestinian people as a nation… The historical wrongs suffered by Palestine must be righted. Palestine’s long aspiration for independent statehood must be fulfilled.”

The below article first appeared on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Editor’s Note: Christopher Lockyear, to whom Ambassador Zhang refers at the start of his remarks, is the Secretary General of the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question

Madam President, 

I thank the two briefers for their briefings. We were left appalled by Mr. Christopher Lockyear’s briefing. We hope the tragic picture in Gaza that he painted for us can touch the conscience of a certain member of this Council.

The veto by the United States two days ago meant that the Council missed yet another opportunity to push for a ceasefire in Gaza. The continuation of the conflict even for another day would cause even more civilian casualties and lead to a greater catastrophe. An immediate ceasefire in Gaza is an urgent imperative to save innocent lives and to prevent a wider war. An immediate ceasefire is the common wish voiced by the international community and the consensus of the Council’s overwhelming majority. We are aware that the United States has tabled a new draft resolution. We hope the US will show a responsible attitude, respond positively to the international voice, and respect the established consensus among Council members. 

We need to point out that the essence of any action of this Council is to achieve an immediate ceasefire. Any message sent out via our action must be clear, unequivocal, unambiguous, and unmistakable, rather than prevaricate or beat about the bush. At this point, the Council needs to demonstrate a strong resolve rather than negotiating skills only.

Madam President, 

More than four months have passed since the conflict in Gaza began. It is the bounden duty of this Council to slam on the brakes to head off a greater calamity. 

The military offensive into Rafah must cease immediately. Over 1.5 million Gazans are packed into Rafah having nowhere else to go. Escalated Israeli military incursions into Rafah will result in unthinkable civilian casualties and humanitarian disasters and cause irreparable damage to regional peace. We strongly oppose such actions. Israel should immediately cancel its plan to attack Rafah and halt its collective punishment of the Palestinian people. The International Court of Justice requires that the provisional measures issued to prevent genocide be effectively implemented without delay. 

It is imperative to ensure sufficient unimpeded humanitarian deliveries into Gaza. As said by the Director General of WHO, Gaza is becoming a death zone. Millions of people in Gaza lack the basic necessities for survival and are languishing in hunger, in disease, and in despair. Meanwhile, humanitarian relief is hampered by man-made barriers, so much so that it is becoming unsustainable. The WFP announced that it had been forced to suspend its assistance to Northern Gaza because of security threats. Right now, Security Council Resolutions 2712 and 2720 must be fully implemented. Israel must take concrete action to open all land, sea, and air routes into Gaza, provide all that is required by humanitarian agencies for their relief operations, and ensure the safety and security of the staff and facilities of humanitarian agencies. UNRWA plays a vital role that is indispensable and irreplaceable in alleviating the humanitarian plight in Gaza. We call on the donors concerned to resume funding to UNRWA as soon as possible out of humanitarian considerations to keep the lifeline for the people of Gaza alive. All parties should give their full support to the work of Sigrid Kaag, UN senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza. 

Every effort must be made to prevent the conflict from spilling over to the wider region. Right now, the Middle East is in turmoil. Exchanges of fire between Lebanon and Israel and between Syria and Israel are escalating. Tensions in the Red Sea are continuing. And the specter of the wider war is looming over the Middle East. We call on the parties concerned, especially those with significant influence, to exercise calm and restraint and to refrain from acts that would aggravate the tensions. Parties should endeavor to stop war through peace and break the vicious circle of violence and conflict. 

The political horizon offered by the two-State solution must be given a new lease on life. Independent Palestinian statehood is not a gift given by one party to another in charity, but an inalienable right of the Palestinian people as a nation. We are gravely concerned by the recent repeated public dismissal of the two-State solution by some Israeli politicians and their rejection of any international effort towards independent Palestinian statehood. Gaza is an inalienable part of Palestine, and the two-State solution is the bottom line of international justice and the only viable path towards the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli issue. China urges Israel to stop without delay eroding the foundation of the two-State solution, halt the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, and cease the searches, arrests, and raids in the West Bank. The historical wrongs suffered by Palestine must be righted. Palestine’s long aspiration for independent statehood must be fulfilled. China supports Palestine in becoming a member of the United Nations as soon as possible and calls for the convening of a larger, more authoritative, and more effective international peace conference to push for a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the question of Palestine. 

Thank you, President.

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.