Chinese Ambassador Liu Jian of the West Asia and Africa Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry sat down for an exclusive interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm at the headquarters of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he hailed Egypt’s efforts in bringing peace to Palestine.
He explained that cooperation is on the way to bring further humanitarian aid into Gaza, and touched on topics such as unreasonable demands made by the US and Israel, cooperation with Arab states, and what China views as the best path towards peace.
Q: The Middle East is currently going through major tensions and crises, how does your country see the situation in the Gaza Strip and how will you cooperate with Egypt on this matter?
A: China believes that Egypt has been playing a major important role in the Palestinian issue for decades, and agrees with it in the priority of resolving this crisis and the permanent conflict.
There is great correspondence with Egypt’s point of view, and China has an unchanged principle based on the “two-state solution” in order for the Palestinian people to obtain all their rights and ensure the existence of an independent Palestinian state.
We have made our position clear to Israel, but they have put forth irrational and unacceptable requests that we have rejected entirely.
China invited the Security Council to discuss developments in the Gaza Strip and find a just solution with the United Nations and well-known diplomatic channels.
The Palestinian cause has historical merits and cannot be marginalized, and the rights of the Palestinian people must not be denied.
Q: The Security Council has done nothing, do you count on it?
We have provided humanitarian aid to the Palestinians and we look forward to reaching the Gaza Strip in coordination with Egypt, and China always coordinates with the countries concerned to resolve the crisis, especially since there are differences between America, Israel and a number of countries on the one hand and on the other hand between many countries in the international community, which supports the right of Palestine.
There is also coordination with Russia on the matter.
China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, in several rounds of voting in favor of draft resolutions on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, made clear Beijing’s position calling for the right of human conscience.
Q: America has provided military aid to Israel, will you provide this kind of aid to Palestine?
A: China is always for peace. The United States of America and the West providing military aid to Israel shows they do not seek to stop tension and escalation, but are “pouring oil on the fire” instead.
China will therefore not send weapons to Palestine because it will naturally lead to the escalation of the conflict and complicate the crisis, and instead what Beijing is doing is making humanitarian, diplomatic and political efforts to resolve the crisis.
Q: I recall you said that Israel asked you for irrational demands, what are they?
A: With the beginning of the recent tensions from October 7 and the consequences within the Gaza Strip, Israel and Western countries asked China to condemn Hamas and hold it responsible for the killing and escalation.
Although China rejects all actions targeting civilians, Beijing agrees with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ statement that Hamas’s actions came as a result of the historical injustice against the Palestinian cause since decades ago, and Israel’s heavy bombardment.
The large-scale killing of thousands of children and women is a “humanitarian catastrophe”, so I stress that we refuse to condemn Hamas.
We condemn the killing of civilians, so we told Israel that it is necessary to hold political negotiations for the two-state solution and the return of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.
Q: What are China’s terms for resolving the Palestinian issue?
A: China adheres to a position that calls for political negotiations, rejection of retaliation through violence, and rejection of the marginalization of the Palestinian cause.
According to what was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping, he believes that the solution to the crisis comes through the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.
On the other hand, there are “selfish” countries ignoring the historical conditions of the region and the Palestinians, who practice double standards and support one party over the other.
This only leads to more unrest in the region.
As the largest country, China’s policy is different from the US in the region as American and Western logic is based on self-interest and viewing others as adversaries – a “zero-sum game” which we reject.