China welcomes Gaza ceasefire, calls for return to peace talks
Beijing on Friday welcomed a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, the militant movement which controls the Gaza Strip, saying China hopes there will be a “cessation of violence” and a return to peace talks.
A ceasefire came into force early Friday after 11 days of deadly fighting that killed hundreds of Palestinians and 12 in Israel.
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Beijing said the international community now needs to “extend helping hands” to the region, and will commit $1 million in emergency aid and a further $1 million to UN relief efforts for the Palestinians.
It will also provide 200,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the Palestinians.
“China welcomes the ceasefire between both sides in the Palestine-Israel conflict, and hopes the relevant parties will earnestly implement the ceasefire and cessation of violence,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference Friday.
“The international community should promote the resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine issue on the basis of the two-state solution,” he added.
Beijing -- which has invited the two sides to hold direct talks in China -- has also used the conflict as an opportunity to hit out at the US, including criticizing Washington for earlier blocking a joint statement on the crisis at the UN Security Council.
Zhao said that China was willing to work with the international community to “promote further easing of the tense Palestine-Israel situation.”
The escalating conflict has been a divisive topic on Chinese social media, where there is a large amount of Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian sentiment, as well as sympathy for Palestinians.
Earlier this week, the Israeli embassy in Beijing hit out at China’s state broadcaster for what it said was “blatant anti-Semitism” in a report on US policy during the ongoing deadly violence.
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