China’s Xi Jinping has called for a peace conference and justice for the war in Gaza as Arab leaders visit Beijing.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has denounced “tremendous suffering” in the Middle East and called for an international peace conference as Arab leaders visit Beijing this week. Israel’s War in Gaza.

“Since last October, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has escalated sharply and has put people in dire straits. War should not continue indefinitely. Justice must not be without forever,” Xi said at the start of a meeting between top diplomats from China and Arab countries on Thursday, also attended by several leaders from the region.

He emphasized China’s call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as well as Beijing’s support for a “more broad-based, authoritative and effective international peace conference.”

Diplomatic meetings in Beijing Israel’s war in Gaza is an urgent global concern, as are Israeli forces Intensifies activities The humanitarian crisis in Rafah, the enclave’s southern city, is worsening by the day. Chinese state media reported that representatives from 22 Arab countries met at Beijing’s Deoyudai State Guest House.

Late Thursday, Chinese and Arab ministers adopted a stern joint statement condemning Israel’s “aggression against the Palestinian people” and in Rafah, according to a document released Friday by Chinese state media.

The statement – which adopted China’s sharpest language to date on the conflict – denied what it described as a “deadly famine and siege” and the “systematic” destruction of residential areas, hospitals, schools, mosques, churches and infrastructure in Gaza.

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Israel has repeatedly defended its actions in the enclave to eliminate the militant group Hamas.

ChinaIt has sought to deepen its ties across the Middle East in recent years, aligning itself with the Arab world and the wider global South in the nearly eight-month conflict. Criticized Israel and calls for a ceasefire.

Its position has put it at odds with the United States, long the dominant power in the region and Israel’s primary supporter. Chinese officials used the confrontation hit WASHINGTON — Fits a larger message from Beijing that frames the United States as an aggressor who unfairly dominates the current world order.

In his remarks, Xi praised the “common desire for a new era of Sino-Arab relations” and said their ties would serve as “an example for maintaining world peace and stability.”

“In this turbulent world, peaceful relations come from mutual respect, and lasting security is built on fairness and justice,” said the Chinese leader, who has proposed an alternative model for alliance-based global security backed by the US.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Tunisian President Qais Said have traveled to China for official visits along with a delegation of ministers.

Following the meeting, Wang told reporters that “the strong call of the meeting is to firmly support the restoration of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people.”

“The joint statement presents a reasonable voice to promote a speedy resolution of the Gaza conflict and a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue,” Wang said, according to Chinese state media.

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The militant group declared war on Hamas in Gaza on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli forces. More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israeli military operations in Gaza began, according to its health ministry.

Since the start of the war, Beijing has positioned itself as a champion of the broader issue of a two-state solution that would see international recognition of a Palestinian state. This position is in line with the country’s recognition of the State of Palestine in 1988.

China has sent envoys to the region to meet with its Arab counterparts and to support calls for a ceasefire at the United Nations. It did not publicly condemn Hamas for the October 7 attacks.

Beijing last month hosted “reconciliation” talks for representatives of rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas.

In Thursday’s joint statement, China and its Arab allies also called for an “end to the occupation of the Palestinian Authority” and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. It condemned the United States for using a United Nations Security Council veto to block a resolution recommending granting full Palestinian UN membership.

With its diplomacy this week, China wants to “show leadership, stabilize relations and call for a ceasefire (in Gaza). It wants to be a particularly strong leader on this issue, at least rhetorically,” Yun Sun, director of the China Program at the Washington-based Stimson Center think tank, said ahead of the meeting. speaks

“China has chosen to side with Palestine and Arab countries. The choice is deliberate, as it suggests a desire to connect with the Arab world and the Global South. But China did not create the crisis. It only capitalized on it,” he added.

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While Beijing has sought to tighten ties across the Middle East in recent years, observers say its influence in the region remains limited.

Beijing is unwilling to take certain measures to respond to the regional consequences of the conflict. For example, it said it has not used additional naval assets to protect Red Sea shipping lanes that have come under attack in recent months by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

During his opening speech, Xi pledged an additional nearly $70 million from China to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and support post-conflict reconstruction, adding about $14 million and $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in support of its emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

Thursday’s ministerial meeting was the first such meeting since China held its first joint summit with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia in late 2022.

Later, Xi was welcomed to the Gulf state with fanfare – a sharp contrast to US President Joe Biden’s tense visit earlier that year amid US outrage over Riyadh’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside its embassy in Istanbul.

Xi and other top Chinese officials also held bilateral talks with visiting leaders this week, and announced that China will host a second Sino-Arab summit in 2026.

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