China’s foreign minister expressed concern on Saturday over Israel’s response to the recent incursion by Hamas, as reported by China’s official news agency. During a conversation with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi conveyed his belief that Israel’s actions have exceeded the boundaries of self-defense.
According to the Xinhua news agency, China has a vested interest in helping to resolve the ongoing conflict and address the underlying issues concerning the Palestinian population. Though the report did not provide direct quotations, it detailed Wang’s remarks during their phone conversation, stating, “China is engaged in intensive communication with all involved parties to advocate for a ceasefire and an end to the hostilities. He emphasized that the most urgent priority is ensuring the safety of civilians, swiftly opening humanitarian corridors for aid, and safeguarding the basic needs of the people in Gaza.”
Prior to the Hamas incursion and the subsequent Israeli military response, there was a growing belief that Israel and Saudi Arabia were working towards normalizing their relations, driven in part by their shared concerns regarding Iran. Such a development had the potential to significantly alter the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East.
In contrast, China has historically played a limited role in Middle Eastern affairs. Xinhua also reported on a conversation between Wang and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that took place on the same Saturday. The discussion between the two diplomats encompassed the ongoing conflict and the need for a resolution.
© Andres Martinez Casares/Pool via AP