BEIJING — China will do its utmost when it comes to contributing to Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation, its foreign minister told his Israeli counterpart in a phone call, according to Chinese state media.
China will firmly support any resolution as long as it is conducive to peace, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Israel’s Eli Cohen, calling the conflict a “major choice between war and peace”, state media said on Tuesday (Oct 24).
Mr Wang also called for Israel to take effective measures to protect the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in the Middle East, adding that “all countries have the right to self-defence, but they should abide by international humanitarian law and protect the safety of civilians”.
China has condemned violence and attacks on civilians in the conflict, and while Mr Wang has declared Israel’s actions “beyond the scope of self-defence” he has not named Hamas in his comments.
In a separate phone conversation with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, Mr Wang said he “deeply sympathises” with the people of Gaza, adding that they need security and efforts to promote peace, not weapons or geopolitical calculations.
China calls for the convening of a “more authoritative, wide-ranging and effective international peace conference” soon, Mr Wang said.
Mr Wang’s comments come days before he visits Washington from Oct 26-28. He will meet with United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Joe Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan, senior Biden administration officials said on Monday, declining to say if he will meet with Mr Biden as well.
The conflict has put China and Russia in separate camps from the United States over the conflict.
China and Russia share the same position that the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people have not been met. While the US has denounced the Hamas attack, fully supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.
China, which has repeatedly urged a ceasefire, also made clear its warships in the Middle East were part of routine escort missions and friendly visits, and not an interference in the conflict, state-controlled Global Times said.
The newspaper said the spokesperson at the Chinese embassy in the United States has called for an end to the “groundless hyping” over the deployment of Chinese warships to the Middle East in response to reports about several warships stationed in the region. REUTERS