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China’s Stance in Israel-Hamas Conflict Raises Questions; US think tank


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As the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to escalate, the response from the international community has been varied.

While many major powers, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, have expressed support for Israel and condemned Hamas, China has taken a different approach. China initially urged restraint and an immediate end to hostilities without explicitly calling out Hamas. However, as the conflict intensifies, China’s stance has evolved. This article delves into China’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict, the implications of its approach, and the complex dynamics at play.


China’s Initial Response


China’s initial response to the Israel-Hamas conflict was characterized by a call for calm, restraint, and an immediate cessation of hostilities. While not explicitly supporting Hamas, China’s stance refrained from denouncing the group. This approach set China apart from other major powers, who were quick to express solidarity with Israel in the face of Hamas’s attacks.


China’s Diplomatic Role in the Middle East


China has been actively seeking to establish itself as a significant player in the Middle East. In March, China played a crucial role in brokering a historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two major regional powers. Earlier this year, China also offered to mediate a similar resolution between Israel and Palestine. Beijing has consistently emphasized its neutrality in the Israel-Palestine conflict, aiming to maintain friendly relations with both parties.


Erosion of China’s Neutrality


Despite China’s claims of neutrality, experts and observers suggest that its credibility as a neutral party has eroded due to its refusal to denounce Hamas. While China has refrained from labeling Hamas’s actions as terrorism, it has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and a “two-state solution.” Chinese state media has also pointed fingers at the United States, accusing it of fanning tensions in the region. This stance has not gone unnoticed by Israel, which expected a more unequivocal condemnation of Hamas.


China’s Support for a Two-State Solution


China’s emphasis on a “two-state solution” as a means of resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict has raised eyebrows. Some argue that during a time of violence and bloodshed, calling for such a solution may not be practical or effective. Israel, in particular, has expressed frustration with this stance, asserting that it is not the right time for diplomatic solutions.


China’s Economic Interests in the Middle East


China’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict can also be viewed through an economic lens. China has significant economic interests in the Middle East, particularly through President Xi Jinping’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Middle East is a crucial region for the BRI due to its energy exports, and China has deepened economic cooperation with countries in the region. Chinese investments in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, two prominent BRI destinations, have totaled billions of dollars. Moreover, China has been Iran’s largest trading partner for a decade and recently committed to a substantial investment in the country.


The Economic Stakes


The economic stakes for China in the Middle East are high. China has invested heavily in infrastructure projects and economic partnerships in the region. Any escalation of the conflict in the Middle East could threaten these investments and jeopardize China’s economic interests. This economic vulnerability may be one of the reasons behind China’s cautious approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict.


China’s Geopolitical Considerations


China’s muted response can also be attributed to its geopolitical considerations. China has historically supported the Palestinian cause, and its refusal to denounce Hamas may be a reflection of its desire to maintain good relations with Arab states in the region. While China seeks to present itself as a neutral player, its interests in the region, particularly through the BRI, necessitate a degree of political pragmatism.


The Ripple Effect


China has witnessed the economic repercussions of being entangled in protracted conflicts, notably through its support for Russia in the Ukraine crisis. The crisis in Ukraine disrupted China’s supply chains, causing economic distress and affecting its infrastructural projects in the region. This experience has likely made China more cautious about becoming embroiled in conflicts that could have far-reaching economic consequences.


China’s Position Amid Diplomatic Void


The unyielding U.S. support for Israel in the face of criticism from Arab states has created a diplomatic void in the Middle East, which China aims to fill. Washington has urged China to use its influence to prevent further attacks on Israel, particularly through its relationship with Iran. However, it remains uncertain whether China is willing or capable of leveraging its ties with Iran to de-escalate the situation.


The Iran Connection


Some analysts have suggested that China’s tacit support for Hamas may be linked to its support for Iran, which, in turn, supports Hamas. While direct evidence of such connections is limited, historical ties and reports of Chinese-made weaponry used by Hamas militants have raised suspicions. The intricate web of alliances and allegiances in the region complicates China’s role as a neutral mediator.




China’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict reflects its delicate balancing act in the Middle East. While it seeks to establish itself as a neutral player and a diplomatic mediator, its economic interests, historical ties, and geopolitical considerations make its position complex. As the conflict continues to escalate, China’s stance will likely continue to evolve, highlighting the intricate dynamics at play in the geopolitically sensitive region of the Middle East.

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