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China now has the credibility to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine

ABOVE: In an undated photo, China's top diplomat Wang Yi shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Courtesy Getty Images.

Do not be surprised if China suddenly announces that it has brokered a peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

Two years ago Chinese envoy Wang Yi, who is now the leader of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party, announced his intentions to invite Israeli and Palestinian public figures to have talks in China.

Back then, there seemed to be little chance of bringing the two together for a peace summit in Beijing. But now things have changed.

The possibility of Yi mediating a peace deal between the two sides became much more credible after he became the face of the Iran-Saudi Arabia detente that was announced earlier this month.

Not many people saw the announcement of the restoration of relations between Saudi and Iran coming. The two had been involved in hostilities for seven years before re-establishing ties.

The same thing could happen where China, Israel and Palestine are concerned.

With Yi becoming an elite power broker in the international peace community, not as many people would be surprised if Beijing announces an Israel-Palestine rapprochement as the number of people who were shocked when the Iran-Saudi announcement was released.

The Saudi-Iran detente was sealed after previously undisclosed talks held in Beijing.

An anonymous Palestinian Authority official recently told the "Jerusalem Post" that peace talks between Palestine and Israel have "effectively been revived" through two recent summits attended by diplomats from Egypt, the United States, Israel, Jordan and Palestine.

If the latest summits fail to make any progress on an Israel-Palestine peace agreement, Beijing would love to stage another diplomatic coup by hosting its own summit and brokering a deal between the two.

There is a very real possibility that China could broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. Beijing has publicly touted almost the same plan for resolving that conflict for about 10 years. Longevity has its place in international diplomacy.

According to a report from "The Diplomat," in 2021 Yi called for “both parties to immediately stop military and hostile actions” and also said that “Israel must exercise restraint in particular.”

He stressed the need for humanitarian aid, the lifting of the blockade of Gaza, and international support for a “two-state solution” that included “a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital, to achieve the harmonious coexistence of the Arab and Jewish nations and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

China has enjoyed good business and trade relations with Israel for years, even receiving military grade systems from Jerusalem.

Now in 2023, Beijing has cemented ties with both Tehran and Riyadh. Iran is one of Israel's worst enemies, while Saudi Arabia is not one of Israel's noted enemies but is a major champion of the Palestinian cause.

China is more than credible enough on the international stage, now, to mediate an Arab-Israel detente through the lenses of Jerusalem and Ramallah.



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