Israel-Hamas War and China: The Hamas-Israel war that has been going on for almost a month is indicating a major devastation in the Middle East. The international community is debating that if this war prolongs, regional devastation may increase because on one hand this war for Israel is the most dangerous war of its existence after the 1948 War of Independence, on the other hand its risk to the world is Israel. And no less than the 1973 Yom Kippur war between Egypt and Russia, when Russia and America’s intervention brought it to the brink of nuclear war.
In the current war, which started with the attack of Hamas terrorists on Israeli communities bordering Gaza on October 7, on one hand, Iran-backed terrorists in Iraq and Syria are attacking American and Israeli properties, while on the other hand, America is retaliating against those terrorists. Has been playing an active role in this field for more than a decade. Here, America has deployed the world’s largest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R., to provide security cover to Israel which is raining fire on the Gaza Strip. Ford and a carrier strike group are deployed to the eastern Mediterranean.
China’s stance focuses on economic interests
To understand how this dispute and conflict is taking a new shape not only at the regional but also at the global level, one has to look towards the East i.e. towards China because China’s engagement with this region has been mainly economic. Due to the perception of America’s decreasing interference in the Middle East, Beijing has largely reorganized its foreign policy there. This can be understood from two examples.
Comparing the Hamas-Israel conflict with the Ukraine-Russia war under Chinese foreign policy, we find that while treading very carefully, Beijing has yet put forward only a 12-point peace plan, a year after the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Is. Furthermore, China still views the Russia–Ukraine war only as a “crisis”. China has been a strategic partner of Russia and has been opposing economic sanctions imposed on it by Western countries.
On one side there is opposition to the attack on Gaza, on the other side there is support for Israel.
China is also taking bold steps in the current Israel-Palestine conflict in the Middle East. It has supported Palestine and despite being a victim of attack in Israel, has still avoided calling Hamas a terrorist organization, but on the other hand, China has supported Israel’s retaliatory attack by saying that any country has the right to self-defense. Is. This is the success of China’s changed foreign policy.
In March this year, China had restored diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Diplomatic bitterness had been going on between the two countries for seven years. Many have seen the agreement as a major step towards Beijing filling the void left by the US’s perceived departure from the region.
Let us tell you that in recent years, China has emerged as a major economic partner of many Middle East countries and buyer of Saudi and Iranian oil. It seems that Beijing is following a deliberate strategy and path of playing the role of mediator in future geopolitical conflicts and earning economic benefits in a goodwill manner. China also appears to have accepted that its increasingly active role in the region may come at an economic cost.
China’s trade in the Middle East
According to a report by the South-China Morning Post, China’s trade with the Middle East has increased from US$79 billion since 2019 to US$259 billion in 2021, while US trade in the region has declined by US$38 billion. With this, US$ 82 billion is left. It is clear from the figures that China’s trade with America has tripled. From 2015 to 2018, China has made the maximum investment in Israel in this region. Investments under the Belt and Road Initiative are greater in Israel than anywhere else in the region.
It is estimated that out of 87 investments made by the Chinese in the technology sector between 2011 and 2018, 54 have been in Israeli companies. Despite strong opposition from the United States, China invested in Israel’s largest port, a dairy company, and other companies. However, some deals had to be canceled due to American pressure.
Eyes focused on economic interests
Even in the current conflict, it has become clear that Beijing is taking diplomatic steps only considering its economic interests. This is why he has been advocating a two-country solution for a long time. It even provided arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1960s and 1970s. Yet today, Beijing remains Israel’s second-largest trading partner. China’s cleverness is clearly visible from the fact that whenever a non-binding resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire came in the United Nations General Assembly, it stood with 119 other countries, who voted in support of the resolution.