China Gets Involved in Israel-Palestine Conflict

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China is calling for broad deescalation in the Israel-Gaza war. The Chinese Foreign Minister made this known to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

China, being a Communist State, has a history of morally supporting the Palestinian cause during the Cold War. It has now aimed to take a more balanced approach in the interest of international markets. Reuters says:

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken by phone on Saturday on the crisis in Israel and Gaza, a statement from his ministry said.

”China calls for the convening of an international peace conference as soon as possible,” the statement read, while warning that “the Palestinian-Israel conflict is escalating and risks getting out of control.”

China is keeping close economic ties with many Middle Eastern countries as its economy heavily relies on oil. The price of crude oil has been edging up very close to $100/barrel. Politico reports:

Before the Hamas incursion and subsequent Israeli military response, it was believed that Israel and Saudi Arabia, driven by a common animus toward Iran, were working toward a normalization of relations, a development that could have shifted the dynamic in the Middle East.

For its part, China has not traditionally played a large role in the Middle East, though the report on the China-Saudi conversation is one more indication that it would like to increase its influence. Xinhua also reported on a conversation Saturday between Wang and Secretary of State Antony Blinken that included discussion about the fighting.

Western opinion is generally supportive of Israel, though a significant loud minority is voicing its support for Hamas in the streets of London, Paris, and New York. A dragged out conflict where the price of oil rises might push more countries to pressure Israel to stop.

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