China's Strong Words on the Palestinian Issue Are Unlikely to Be Backed Up with Action

(South China Morning Post) Kawala Xie - China may continue to be vocal on the Palestinian issue to preserve its image as it vies with the U.S. for influence in the Middle East, but its approach is seen likely to remain obscure and distant, observers say. Guy Burton, adjunct professor at the Brussels School of Governance and a specialist in Middle Eastern affairs, said recent statements from Chinese officials demonstrated Beijing's usual approach of showing sympathy for the Palestinian cause. However, it did not indicate any interest in China becoming a conflict mediator in the Middle East. "Amid Chinese [UN] representative [Zhang Jun's] criticism of Israel, he also said that it was up to countries who were most involved in the 'Oslo process' to support Israel and the Palestinians to resolve the conflict," Burton said. "He didn't name any countries, but it seemed telling that he didn't see it as China's role to do this." Li Shaoxian, a Middle East specialist at Ningxia University in China, said, "I think it is very difficult to promote Palestinian-Israeli peace talks at this stage and in this year. But, despite this, China's policy will be to continue to make efforts in this direction."

2023-01-26 00:00:00

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