China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that the world must act urgently to stem the war in Gaza.
The statement follows Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s series of high-level meetings with counterparts from Muslim countries to discuss the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza.
The Chinese top diplomat welcomed counterparts from countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the OIC, marking a sharp turn from the region’s preference for asking the United States to intervene.
Foreign ministers of the Muslim-majority countries are expected to continue a seven-day tour to different capitals in the world, seeking a ceasefire and a renewal of talks to solve the Palestinian problems.
‘China firmly stands with justice and fairness in this conflict,’ Wang said in his opening remarks in front of his counterparts from Muslim countries, emphasizing the urgency for the international community to take effective measures to prevent the tragedy from spreading.
Other ministers issued similar statements, with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud saying, ‘The message is clear: the war must stop immediately, we must move to a ceasefire immediately, and relief materials and aid must enter immediately.’
China, seen as an objective country regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict, has called for de-escalation, movement of humanitarian aid, and a cessation of hostilities. A statement from the foreign ministry called on Israel, stating, ‘Israel should stop its collective punishment on the people of Gaza and open up a humanitarian corridor as soon as possible to prevent a humanitarian crisis of a larger scale from taking place.’
Israel has rejected any talks of a ceasefire until hostages have been released.
On Sunday, rumors of a potential five-day ceasefire spread across social media, but there has been no concrete evidence of such talks from reliable authorities from both the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
The war in Gaza presents a good opportunity for China to exert its influence in the region, challenging decades of American influence in the Middle East.
Last month, China sent out envoy Zhai Jun, who visited several Muslim countries in the region from Bahrain to Egypt. Although the envoy did not visit Israel, the West Bank, or Iran