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China’s Wang Yi urges Israel to 'protect Chinese institutions' as Gaza war rages

China, which has significant economic interests in Israel, has criticized its conduct in the war, but has not condemned Hamas’ attack on southern Israel.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C) arrives at the opening ceremony of diplomatic symposium at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on October 24, 2023. (Photo by Ken Ishii / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KEN ISHII/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed China’s concerns over the Gaza war during a call with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen on Monday, recognizing the right to self-defense while also calling for dialogue with the Palestinians and the protection of Chinese interests in the country.

Wang told Cohen that China “condemns all acts that harm civilians” without mentioning Hamas nor the Israel Defense Forces. The diplomat added that "all countries have the right to self-defense,” but should “respect international humanitarian law.” Wang reiterated China’s support for a two-state solution to the conflict and called for the resumption of peace talks, offering Beijing’s help to this end.

“China will firmly support anything conducive to peace, and will exert its utmost to do anything conducive to the reconciliation between Palestine and Israel,” said Wang, according to a Tuesday readout from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Wang additionally called on Israel to “take effective measures to protect the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Israel,” per the readout.

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