China's Foreign Minister Slams Israel: Gaza Actions Cross Line of Self-Defense

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 10/15/2023
According to China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Israel's actions in Gaza have been deemed as exceeding the boundaries of self-defense. Wang Yi further emphasized that the Israeli government should put an end to its practice of collectively punishing the people of Gaza. These statements were published on Sunday.

During a phone conversation with Prince Faisal bin Farhan of Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Wang expressed his remarks. This occurred at a time when Israel seemed prepared to launch a ground offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza.

According to a readout from the foreign ministry, Wang expressed the view that Israel's actions have exceeded the boundaries of self-defense.


China has taken on a growing role as a mediator in the Middle East, facilitating a reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a significant supporter of Hamas, in March.

China has taken a strong stance on the conflict between Israel and Gaza, urging Israel to heed the calls of the international community and the UN secretary general. Wang, a representative of China, emphasized the need for Israel to stop its collective punishment of the people of Gaza. This statement marks China's most assertive position on the matter thus far.

In the northern region of Gaza, a densely populated enclave, a significant number of individuals, exceeding one million, have been instructed to evacuate in anticipation of an imminent attack. Aid organizations have expressed concerns that this mass exodus could trigger a severe humanitarian crisis.

Since 2006, the territory has been subjected to a land, air, and sea blockade, resulting in a densely populated and economically disadvantaged region where 2.3 million residents live in close proximity to one another.

Following a breach in the heavily fortified border between the Gaza Strip and Israel by Hamas fighters, a tragic incident occurred where more than 1,300 individuals lost their lives due to gunshots, stabbings, and burnings. In response to this devastating event, Israel initiated a large-scale retaliatory bombing campaign. The primary focus of this campaign was to target the Islamist group responsible for the breach, resulting in a significant loss of life, with over 2,200 casualties in Gaza.

The majority of casualties in conflicts are comprised of civilians from both opposing factions.

During their conversation, Wang expressed to Prince Faisal the importance of avoiding any actions that could further escalate the situation. Instead, Wang emphasized the need for all parties involved to promptly return to the negotiating table.

On Saturday, Wang held a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who had called on China to use its influence in the Middle East to push for calm in the region.

According to the readout provided by Beijing, Wang emphasized the need for an international peace meeting to be convened promptly in order to facilitate the establishment of a widespread agreement.

According to Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a senior research fellow at the Asia Centre in Paris, Beijing's influence in the Middle East has grown significantly over the past decade or two. This increased influence can be attributed to two main factors: its strong economic presence in the region and its active diplomatic engagement.

According to the individual interviewed by AFP, the positive relationship between Beijing and Israel, particularly in the technological field, restricts Beijing's ability to take certain actions.

China's official statements regarding the conflict have been subject to criticism from certain Western officials due to their perceived lack of specificity in condemning violence by explicitly naming Hamas.

China's state broadcaster, CCTV, has announced that Zhai Jun, China's special envoy, is scheduled to embark on a visit to the Middle East in the upcoming week. The purpose of this visit is to advocate for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and to facilitate peace talks between the involved parties.

Zhai “will visit the Middle East next week to coordinate with various parties for a ceasefire, to protect civilians, ease the situation, and promote peace talks”, CCTV said in a video posted to its official social media account on Sunday.

According to the broadcaster, Zhai expressed deep concern about the potential expansion and outward effects of the conflict during an interview with CCTV.


According to a statement from the foreign ministry, Zhai recently held a meeting with the representatives of the Arab League in China. During the meeting, Zhai expressed Beijing's support for the regional group in its efforts to play a significant role in addressing the Palestine issue.

According to the statement, he informed the bloc that Beijing is committed to making continuous efforts in order to restore the Middle East peace process to its intended course.


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