It is clear that the world and the international system established in those years have experienced significant changes. Russia has faced major challenges, and the United States of America is no longer the terminator of regional crises, and some regional players oppose its policies. Meanwhile, a new account has been opened in China. Especially since China’s belief and commitment to non-interfere in the internal affairs of other countries has been somewhat reassuring for regional players, especially in the Middle East. Beijing’s mediation in restoring relations between Tehran and Riyadh also proves this claim. In the meantime, with Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu setting foot in China, ideas are being formed that as a new and stabilizing measure in the region, China may have brought the most sensitive challenge and chronic crisis of the Middle East to its destination or at least brought it closer to it.
Therefore, the visit of Mahmoud Abbas to China was accompanied by the support of the president of that country for the Palestinian nation. Xi Jinping spoke of this country’s permanent and firm support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights. In that three-day meeting, China supported the full membership of the Palestinian Authority in the United Nations, and the two sides announced a mutual strategic partnership.
It seems that China is not reluctant to beat once again the drum of its influence on the issues of the region and the world. Until now, the Red Dragon did not want to participate in resolving international disputes, but now the matter seems a little different. Beijing is ready to take measures to show off that country’s prestige and position, at least in the Middle East region. During his trip, Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, who does not feel as powerful as in the past, asked Xi to put pressure on Tel Aviv and the Netanyahu government to create a solution to the conflict between Palestine and the Zionist regime, but this is only one side of the story. Whether Tel Aviv will also be happy with China’s initiative remains to be seen.
Tel Aviv sees Beijing as useful.
Benjamin Netanyahu knows that the relations between China and the Islamic Republic of Iran are in a strong position. He is also well aware of the economic partnership between Tel Aviv and Beijing. He knows the competition between the Red Dragon and the United States of America. Netanyahu seems to plan his upcoming trip to China with two main plans. First, he will try to use the Beijing-Riyadh communication channel to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi Arabia’s joining the Abraham Accords with China’s mediation will anger the United States, it can have good medium and long-term effects from his point of view. On the other hand, Netanyahu believes that the presence of China in the Middle East equations can encourage the United States to stay in this region. Although this view seems a little far from reality and with the improvement of the peace process, the United States will not sacrifice its strategic and hegemonic competition to its regional allies.
Chinese model of peace in the Middle East: Attracting desperate, tired players to negotiating table
The weakening of the United States in the Middle East has made its regional allies vulnerable. The Abraham Accord could not guarantee the era’s peace after the withdrawal of the United States from the region. Although it was not supposed to happen, the Chinese and bilateral model of achieving peace in the Middle East seems to be more fruitful and stable than the American model, which is based on the regional expedition and the result of which is destabilizing and tension-inducing words such as NATO in the Middle East and Hebrew-Arab alliance. China has shown that it offers a more effective model, which is supported by that country’s ability to significantly improve its global position with increasing power.
In the Chinese model, establishing peace will justify the means, and the parties will sit at the negotiating table based on their own language and perception. Consider that Saudi Arabia accepted China’s invitation to negotiate with Iran due to being ignored by the United States. Iran also moved towards establishing relations in the direction of de-escalating tensions with Saudi Arabia and relying on close relations with China and the need to move in the direction of regional stability and mistrusting the United States.
These cases may also apply to Ramallah and Tel Aviv. Nearly six months have passed since Netanyahu’s election, and he has not yet been invited to the US by the democratic government of that country. In addition, the Biden administration does not support measures of the Zionist regime in the direction of settlement construction, even if it does not react to it. Such cases have caused Netanyahu to be interested in implementing the Saudi Arabia model. Tel Aviv knows very well that the current era is unlike the Cold War era when countries close to a bipolar world superpower had to choose one pole and cut ties with the other. Although the Zionist regime has declared that the United States of America remains a key and irreplaceable ally of that regime, on the other hand, it knows how much it can make Washington angry and disappointed to entrust the peace initiative in the Middle East to Beijing.
On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is extremely disappointed with the United States. Despite Biden’s lack of support for former US President Donald Trump’s measures regarding transferring capital and full support for Tel Aviv, the country’s current administration still has not taken positive steps on this issue. Mahmoud Abbas also knows that the focus of the Biden administration will be on small measures, not a risky comprehensive peace that can be fragile and endanger the credibility of the federal government. All these things make the package proposed by Beijing look more attractive, and these days China is known as the leader in realizing impossible cases on the international scene.