In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Mohammad Qassem Mohebali referred to China’s warm welcome accorded to Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing and noted: China is the largest recipient of oil in the Middle East and has made considerable investments in this region. Hence, its interests require promoting security and stability in the Middle East.
He added: that China has now expanded its relations with the Arabs, and previously it had improved its relations with the Israeli regime due to its need for high-level technology. Therefore, now it is interested in mediating between the Arabs and that regime and making a compromise so that its mind will be relieved from the occurrence of instability in the future. It is natural that inviting Mahmoud Abbas and warmly welcoming him is an attempt to improve its position within this framework so that it can mediate between them and the Israeli regime in the future about its existing tools.
Regarding China’s good relations with the Israeli regime and some Palestinian parties, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt, the international affairs analyst said: Such relations have created a good position for China. Meanwhile, Russia’s position has declined drastically. Due to the problems, it has faced after the Ukraine war and the recent rebellion of the Wagner Group, that country cannot be considered a strong player on the international stage. The United States also does not have the advantage of the Chinese because, unlike China, it does not have relations with all sides. The Europeans also have such a situation to some extent; therefore, under the current situation, an exceptional position has been created for China to play an important role in line with what is called the “Middle East peace.”
Mohebali referred to the statements of the president of China, in which he declared the establishment of “strategic relations and strategic partnership” with Palestine as an essential milestone in the history of bilateral relations and regarding the impact of the competition between the US and China in the Middle East on mediation between the Israeli regime and Palestine and playing a positive role in the Middle East, and stated: Naturally, the economic competition between the US and China also exists in regional and international affairs. Of course, it cannot be said that the interests of those two countries in the Middle East currently conflict with each other; instead, they have relatively common demands.
He explained: The US and China follow the “two-state” policy under the current situation, but, naturally, what they mean about the characteristics of those states is somewhat different. The US is looking for a Palestinian government without military power, as we witnessed such emphasis in the era of Clinton, Obama, and recently in the Biden administration, based on which a government should be created alongside the Israeli regime, which, although considered independent, it should not have the requirements and tools of a completely independent government. But the Chinese have a somewhat more moderate policy in this regard. Although they also seek to ensure the security of the Israeli regime and the security of the Palestinians, they seem to believe that the Palestinians should also have the necessary ability, similar to a completely independent government.
Referring to the solutions offered by Beijing in July 2021 for the implementation of the two-state solution of Palestine and the Israeli regime, Mohebali added: In his recent meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of China stated that, first of all, the fundamental solution of the Palestine issue should be based on the formation of an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty based on the borders of 1967 and designation of East Quds as its capital.
The expert on international affairs explaining China’s obstacles to strengthening the peace process in the Middle East, including the nuclear weapons of the Zionist regime, the settlements of the regime and some of its positions, especially in the extremist government of Netanyahu, extravagances, and expansionism in addition to violating international laws and violating the rights of Palestinians, the interests of the Zionist regime in creating instability, the multiplicity of players in the Middle East, as well as the intense competition in that region, emphasized: It will be very difficult to take steps to create peace between the Israeli regime and Palestine; just as the US and other parties were not successful in this direction during the past 60 years, it is very difficult for China to achieve this goal.
Meanwhile, he said: Although the conditions are much different compared to the past and the demands in the Middle East, both governments and people, have changed. Such changes bring more opportunities for those who want security and stability in the Middle East and pursue their interests in the developing Middle East. However, the Middle East will still undergo changes and unrest, and its future is unpredictable.
While referring to the strategic relations between the United States and the Israeli regime, regarding the role of such relations in China’s efforts to strengthen the peace process in the Middle East, Mohebali stated: Although China and the United States compete with each other to gain more benefits and improve their position, there are no Cold War-era divisions between them. Now we are in a situation where Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Israeli regime, and the countries of the Persian Gulf have extensive relations and common interests with China and the United States and have formed a comprehensive and balanced policy. Therefore, it does not seem that in the Middle East, the policies of China and the United States are entirely in opposition.