Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a “strategic partnership” with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, withAbbas currently visiting China for four days. Abbas is the first Arab leader to visit China in a state visit this year, and this is Abbas’ fifth such visit to China, according to Chinese media.The strategic partnership reportedly includes laying a framework for future negotiations on free trade, humanitarian aid and development projects.
China looks intent on using this strategic partnership as a springboard for greater influence in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. China’s vision of brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace comes with a strong bias based on flawed logic that will doom it to fail. But China will attempt to resuscitate the Israeli–Palestinian “peace process” regardless as a tool to upend US influence in the Middle East, much like it accomplished with its brokering a détente between Iran and Saudi Arabia and its supporting role in Syria’s re-integration into the Arab League.
While China Claims Objectivity, it Reveals its Bias
Chinese officials and experts are quick to claim that China will be an unbiased mediator in seeking Israeli-Palestinian peace. China’s vision of this peace is “non-imposing and fair,” according to a Turkish expert as cited by Global Times. According to Li Shaoxian, director of Ningxia University’s China-Arab Research Institute, “China is a friend to both Palestine and Israel, so it can exert influence upon both sides while remaining impartial and objective,” as cited by China Daily. “China…cares for lasting stability in the region and acts out of international justice,” according to a “former special envoy of the Chinese government on Middle East issues” as cited by Global Times.
But in fact, China is quite biased towards the Palestinian cause. According to Xi, China and “Palestine” are “good friends and good partners who trust and support each other,” as cited by Global Times. According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, Abbas is an “old and good friend of the Chinese people,” as cited by China Daily. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang referred to the “just cause of Palestine, while Xi, Qin, and Wang all referred to the “legitimate national rights” of the Palestinians, yet these officials ignore the jihadist, anti-Israel, and anti-Jewish tenor of the Palestinian national movement.
Global Times also cited that 80 percent of Palestinians favor a Chinese role in brokering a peace, but did not mention how popular Chinese mediation is among Israelis.
China’s Bias will Not Bring Peace
This glaring Chinese bias towards the Palestinians indicates that any Chinese initiated peace deal will be doomed to fail, as it is based on several false premises.
The first false premise is that it is Israel that must initiate peace. Wu Sike, former special envoy of the Chinese Government on Middle East issues, implied that Israel believes that it can achieve “peace by only solving the problems with the use of force” and that “[a] long-term and sustainable peace that serves the fundamental interests of Israel needs to be realized via a political solution with Palestinians,” as cited by Global Times.Key facts that Wu omits are the Palestinian incessant use of force (via suicide bombers, rockets, kidnappings, and terror tunnels against Israel), and the number of times that the international community and Israel have offered a political solution – Arab sovereignty west of the Jordan River – only to be rejected.
The second false premise is that the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the center of the Middle East conflict. This claim, taken together with the first, translates to the false assumption that Israel is the primary obstacle to Middle East peace. According to Wang, the issue of “Palestine” is “at the heart of the Middle East issue, and matters to the region’s peace and stability and international equity and justice,” as quoted in China Daily. This is demonstrably false, as Wang ignores the much bloodier conflictsthroughout the Middle East since 1948 that have nothing to do with Israel.
China’s fixation on the two-state solution is also highly problematic. According to Xi, Israeli-Palestinian peace must be focused on achieving “the establishment of an independent state of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital.” This contrasts sharply with Israel’s long-standing principles that Jerusalem will forever be Israel’s united capital and that Israel will retain the Jordan Valley and key neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria that are beyond the 1949 armistice lines between Israel and Jordan (these were never formal “borders”), and that there are currently approximately 700,000 Israelis living beyond those armistice lines.
China Seeks to Upend American Influence in Middle East
China’s press coverage shows that China seeks to use Abbas’ visit to China and China’s vision for Israeli-Palestinian peace toreduce American influence in the Middle East. According to the Global Times, President Trump’s Deal of the Century was “…‘a mark of shame’ rather than an agreement,” while another Global Times article referred to the proposal as “based on the unconditional surrender of the Palestinians.”
Chinese press indicates that China has broader visions in the region, including aims to replace the Abraham Accords. One Global Times article, stated that China seeks to establish “…a platform for the Gulf region for controlling and managing potential crises through collective consultation,” and that “many Arab states have responded positively to the Global Security Initiative.” According to the concept paper of the Global Security Initiative, China seeks to enfranchise the region in “jointly establish[ing] a new security framework in the Middle East.”
China’s broader vision for the region also includes appeasingIranian ambitions. A Chinese professor at Fudan University said “the foundation of US strategy on Middle East is to use the US-Israel-Saudi alliance to confront Iran, and China’s mediation on Saudi-Iran ties breaks the foundation of US strategy,” according to Global Times. Another Chinese professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs Universityimplied that the Chinese brokered Saudi Arabia–Iran détente will in turn bring a détente between the Palestinian Authority (traditionally backed by Saudi Arabia) and Hamas and other groups traditionally backed by Iran, according to that same article. This suggests that China would support increased jihadist infiltration of Judea and Samaria, and even a Hamas/PA unity government.
In this way, the Chinese vision for “Palestine” and the Middle East more generally will be to the benefit of Iran and to the detriment of Israel and the United States.
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Electric Vehicle company with Chinese ties awarded $500 million of taxpayer money for 2nd U.S. plant
With a little help from their Democrat friends, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party just announced the opening of its second plant in the United States.
Fox News reports Gotion Inc., whose parent company Gotion High-Tech is based in Hefei, China, unveiled plans to build a $2 billion lithium battery plant in Manteno, Illinois, alongside Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who cheered the project.
The announcement comes amid growing opposition to the company’s plans to build a billion-dollar factory in Mecosta County, Michigan.
In order to make the expansion happen, lobbyists for the Chinese Communist Party-tied electric vehicle company funneled cash to Democrats. “Individuals at a law firm registered as foreign agents to lobby on behalf of Gotion, a Chinese electric vehicle battery company developing a controversial project in Michigan, and wired campaign contributions to several top Democrats” reports Fox News.
“According to state and federal filings, Monique Field-Foster, an attorney at the Lansing office of the Warner Norcross + Judd law firm who is acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Gotion, donated to the campaigns of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Whitmer’s sister Liz Gereghty and Michigan Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Elissa Slotkin” the Fox News report continued.
“With the right incentives, nation-leading infrastructure, world-class workforce and booming clean energy production, we have transformed ourselves into an attractive location for global manufacturers. Today, we take another leap forward. It’s my pleasure to welcome Gotion to Illinois and to show the world yet again that Illinois is ready to be a player on the world stage.”
Pritzker delivered remarks late last week thanking Gotion for choosing Illinois to call “home” in a ceremony with leaders from Gotion High-Tech, including Li Zhen, the company’s chairman and president, who said he expected the factory to open in less than 12 months.
“All that we see here [in Illinois] are of enormous value to us: an enabling business environment, a supportive state government for the new energy industry and their highly efficient work, as well as the prospects of the State of Illinois in the coming years,” the Gotion president added. “We believe that Gotion’s battery technology will help to boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S.”
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