The China-Palestine Connection

The China-Palestine Connection - China supports Iran economically, and Iran, in turn, supports Hamas with Chinese money and weapons. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will use the attack on Israel to increase its influence in the region, making it difficult for the United States to convince Israel and its Arab neighbors to join U.S.-led accords.

The China-Palestine Connection

The China-Palestine Connection

Commentary

China supports Iran economically, and Iran, in turn, supports Hamas with Chinese money and weapons. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will use the attack on Israel to increase its influence in the region, making it difficult for the United States to convince Israel and its Arab neighbors to join U.S.-led accords.

-

The surprise attack launched by Hamas on Oct. 7 has left at least 1,300 dead in Israel, with the death toll expected to rise. Immediately after the attack, Israel launched a counterattack on Gaza, killing at least 1,799 Palestinians as of Oct. 13.
The Western-led international order has largely condemned the attack on Israel, while Beijing has not. At the same time, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit blamed Israel, saying, “Israel’s continued implementation of violent and extremist policies is a time bomb depriving the region of any serious opportunity for stability in the foreseeable future.” Jordan condemned Israel’s retaliation. And Iran praised the Hamas attack: “We congratulate the Palestinian fighters. ...We will stand by the Palestinian fighters until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.”
-
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has refused to condemn the attack for a number of reasons. First, China is a major economic partner of the Islamic Republic of Iran. China helps Iran bypass Western sanctions, buying cheap oil and selling Iran technology used in drones and missiles. The CCP has also provided Tehran with cyber technology, allowing the country to become a major cyber security threat. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) supports Hamas with equipment, intelligence, weapons, and training. Meanwhile, Tehran provides Hamas with 70 percent of its funding.
-
Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have had a long-running enmity, with the United States providing security for the kingdom. China needs to trade with both countries and wants to remove the U.S. military from the picture. Consequently, China brokered a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran earlier this year. By neutralizing the Iranian threat to Saudi Arabia, China hoped to eliminate the need for U.S. troops in the kingdom. Beijing also hoped that pushing Washington out of the picture could convince Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations to price and trade oil in yuan.
-
To curry favor with Middle Eastern nations, the CCP has repeatedly demanded that Israel grant independence to Palestine and that the United Nations recognize Palestine as an independent state. Chinese leader Xi Jinping also tried to build his cachet as a peacemaker by attempting to broker an Israel-Palestine peace deal. Part of Mr. Xi’s plan for peace included Israel allowing Palestine to establish its capital in Jerusalem. However, Israel has officially relocated its capital to Jerusalem, rendering this proposal untenable.
-
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. President's daughter, Ivanka Trump, unveil an inauguration plaque during the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. (Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. President's daughter, Ivanka Trump, unveil an inauguration plaque during the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. (Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)
-
During President Donald Trump’s tenure, the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocated its embassy there, in contrast to most other countries that maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. Additionally, Trump endorsed Israel’s control over the Golan Heights, a territory that the Arab League argues should be returned to Syria. Notably, Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. defense assistance, firmly aligning it within the U.S. sphere of influence.
-
Although China is Israel’s third-largest trading partner, the Israeli government initiated an investigation into Chinese investments within Israel, citing national security concerns. Consequently, the prospect of Israel aligning with China’s sphere of influence appears unlikely. Simultaneously, regional coalitions that include Israel may see a decline in participation from hardline Islamic member nations.
-
Given these dynamics, it would be in the best interest of the CCP to support Palestine, cultivate relations with other Middle Eastern nations, and potentially view Israel as a write-off. Mr. Xi met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing in June this year, and the two signed a strategic partnership. In return, Palestine joined 53 nations, signing a joint statement in support of the CCP’s genocide in Xinjiang. They also supported CCP efforts to suppress pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
-
By enhancing its relations with Middle East nations, Beijing hopes to undermine the Trump-negotiated Abraham Accords. At the same time, China is building its own coalition by inviting both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to join BRICS. The CCP will exploit this attack on Israel to show that the United States is an unreliable defense partner. And this rhetoric can be exported to other parts of the world, such as Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Mr. Xi has also announced the Global Security Initiative, which he presents as an alternative to U.S. security alignment.
-
In the wake of the attack on Israel, the United States has pledged its support, sending weapons and deploying naval vessels to the region. U.S. lawmakers visiting China called on Beijing to support Israel. And while this all moves Israel closer to the United States, Mr. Xi will try to exploit this tragedy to increase China’s influence in the Middle East.
-
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.