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China as a Conflict Mediator: Interests, Influence, and Implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Author: Dale Aluf 

Affiliation: Sino-Israel Global Network & Academic Leadership (SIGNAL)

Organization/Publisher: Sino-Israel Global Network & Academic Leadership. 

Date/Place: 2021/ Ramat Gan

Word Count: 17439


Keywords: China’s Mediation Dynamics, DPRK-US Nuclear Talks, Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 


This extended study provides insight on the objectives that motivate China’s conflict-mediation efforts worldwide, as well as the ideas and tactics Beijing uses to mediate violent disputes. The study interprets China’s mediation dynamics and strategic aims, so provides Israeli policymakers with actionable information that contextualizes Beijing’s request to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the context of Beijing’s worldwide strategy. China’s mediating role in the Afghan civil war, Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, DPRK-US nuclear talks, Democratic Republic of Congo civil war, Iran nuclear talks, Myanmar civil war, Nepali government mediation, Darfur crisis, South Sudan conflict, Yemen civil war, and Zimbabwe regime change are evaluated in this inquiry. The study next considers if and how the highlighted interests, values, and practices relate to Israel-Palestine. Not only Jerusalem should be wary of China’s determination to expand its role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Egypt, which has historically played a critical role in conflict management and recently negotiated a truce between Israel and Hamas, should be aware that Chinese intervention in the Palestinian arena has the potential to alter Egypt’s position. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority seems to be oblivious that Chinese interests and rhetoric are geared to benefit Beijing, not the Palestinians. If this were not the case, China’s financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority would be substantially greater. While members of the Palestinian Authority extol their relationship with China and express gratitude for any diplomatic assistance, China has shown no indication that it would commit cash or significant political capital in achieving the ambitions it professes to support. Beijing’s attitude, as history illustrates, is pragmatic. As such, China has no qualms about switching allegiances to suit its interests. China’s recognition of Hamas as the Palestinian people’s legitimate representation in January 2006 should serve as a warning lesson. In terms of China’s peace via development strategy, the Palestinians might benefit from more infrastructure and less political posturing.


By: Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate



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