A few minutes every morning is all you need.
Stay up to date on the world's Headlines and Human Stories. It's fun, it's factual, it's fluff-free.
The backstory: More than a month ago, a conflict sparked in the Middle East after Hamas militants launched an assault on Israel by attacking a music festival and several kibbutzes, which are essentially tight-knit Jewish neighborhoods. These attackers also took hundreds of hostages. This marked one of the biggest breaches of Israeli territory in the last 50 years. Afterward, Israel declared war on Hamas and launched a full military operation in Gaza.
The UN reports that over a million people in Gaza have been displaced and are grappling for basic necessities since the war began. Responding to the crisis, the US has provided military support to Israel, while Saudi Arabia has called for de-escalation.
US President Joe Biden visited Israel, marking the first time a sitting American president has been there during an ongoing conflict. In July, China expressed confidence in playing a positive role in peace talks between Israel and Palestine, saying it was optimistic about improving Iran-Saudi relations that might spark a “wave of reconciliation” in the region.
More recently: China and Russia teamed up on the Palestinian issue last month. China's envoy, Zhai Jun, emphasized the shared commitment to peace talks and finding a fair solution to the Palestinian situation. He highlighted common ground with Arab countries, emphasizing China's historical support for an independent Palestine through the "two-state solution" and the protection of Palestinian rights.
In a noteworthy diplomatic move, President Biden and China's President Xi Jinping met in San Francisco on the sidelines of the APEC Summit last week. In their private talk, Biden reportedly asked Xi to use China’s influence to calm down tensions globally, especially with Iran's role in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The development: China has taken center stage this week by hosting talks involving foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries to address the Gaza conflict. Representatives from Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are participating in the discussions happening through Tuesday.
China's foreign ministry emphasized that it's all about talking and working together to de-escalate the situation. They want to make sure there's a fair solution for the Palestinian issue and that civilians are protected. This is a significant move in China's diplomatic efforts, which have ramped up in recent years as China looks to be a mediator in the region. As these discussions progress, the international community is closely watching China's potential impact on shaping the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“During the visit, China will engage in in-depth communication and coordination,” said ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning in a statement. “It will also promote the cooling of the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the protection of civilians and a just settlement of the Palestinian question.”
“The fundamental reason for the current situation of the Palestine-Israel conflict is that the Palestinian people’s lawful national rights have not been guaranteed,” said China's envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, last month.
“For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping to US President Biden last week.