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Gaza asks China, Russia and Türkiye, to co-sign peace pact

China quietly took 9 steps toward peace for Palestine

GAZA’S REPRESENTATIVES invited China, Russia and Türkiye to stand with their community in any forthcoming peace deal with Israel and the west.

The Palestinians want the three non-western nations to be “co-guarantors” of the eventual pact that ends the fighting, said the head of the Hamas international relations office, Musa Abu Marzouk, in an interview on Sunday, reported by the UK Guardian newspaper.


This is extraordinary. The fact that the Palestinians want the Chinese, Russians and people of Türkiye to stand as their official allies, shows the depth of reputational damage done to the Western allies by their roles in the slaughter and destruction of Palestinian society – and let’s not forget, the west is enabling acts considered illegal in international law, according some of the west’s own lawyers.

But diplomats say it’s no surprise, as China has been quietly working behind the scenes to bring about peace in Gaza. Here are nine steps the Chinese took.

1. China looked ahead to an eventual peace pact by last week inviting Fatah, the secular, technocratic rulers of the West Bank, and Hamas, the traditionalist Islamic rulers of Gaza, to Beijing for talks on shared leadership for the future. The talks went extremely well.

2. China this week issued a joint statement with France, urging Israel to cancel the planned offensive in Rafah, the southern part of Gaza where hundreds of thousands of civilians are sheltering. The US made similar noises but undermined themselves by continuing to send weapons and cash and other help to the IDF as it prepared the assault.

3. China refused Washington’s request to tell the Houthi rebels in Yemen to stop their Red Sea disruption campaign in which they largely targeted Israel-bound ships with US and UK origins.

4. Two of the biggest shipping organizations in the world, mainland China’s Cosco and Hong Kong’s OOCL, suspended all business links with Israel over the treatment of Palestinians.

5. Chinese diplomats invited Fatah and Hamas to meet again in Beijing later this month to work on a unity deal for shared Palestinian leadership.

6. China quietly amplified the warm Middle Eastern diplomatic relationships it made in March last year when it successfully negotiated an end to a nine-year dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It intends to use what it learned, and the contacts it made, to help the Palestinians.

7. China consistently stood with Gaza in United Nations’ attempts to bring about a ceasefire, and backed statements on the conflict from international organizations such as the World Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

8. China provided cash assistance to Gaza and despatched food, medical supplies, and other essential humanitarian aid through Egypt.

9. Most excitingly, both mainland China and Hong Kong have created strong politics-free relationships with Islamic communities in the Middle East that make them good partners for rebuilding Gaza—both in terms of fixing physical infrastructure, and in creating financial and other organizations.

The result of all this, of course, will be a move towards a more balanced, genuinely multipolar world. This will horrify the US. But the rest of the humanity is likely to see it as a positive.

It’s interesting to note that western commentators who touch on this topic inevitably talk of China as trying to “replace” the United States as a political player in the Middle East.

This is a very common but fundamental error. China doesn’t operate that way. For the US, every move is part of strategic geopolitical machinations. China simply does trade with people, trying to create relationships through finding win-win deals.

“China will not be a geopolitical player in the Middle East,” said the Global Times in an editorial.  “The increasing influence of China is totally accumulated through goodwill and cooperation, without any machination.”

This relatively guilelessness will make China a better partner in the Middle East, said Fudan University professor Shen Yi in the same newspaper.

“Instead of solving the problem, the US usually creates the problem, then formulates a policy based on its own interests and needs, taking the lives and wellbeing of the people in the Middle East as the tool to solidify its hegemony. All parties in the Middle East know the US’s intentions very well, but they didn’t have other choices before. Now, with China’s mediation, they naturally will choose the proposal for peace.”

Artwork at the top by fridayeveryday.

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