Will the Gaza crisis write the last line in American influence in the Middle East?
A delegation of Arab and Muslim foreign ministers visited China on Monday as part of intensifying efforts to build an international consensus to pressure Israel to end its aggression against the Gaza Strip. However, this step reveals the extent of the decline in American influence in the Middle East and the strong increase in Chinese influence, especially with the Chinese position in support of the issue. Palestinian.
Arab frustration with the American position towards Gaza
According to the British newspaper “Financial Times”, the delegation of foreign ministers and other officials arrived in Beijing as Israeli forces advanced through the south and east of Gaza City, after taking full control of Al-Shifa Hospital, which raised fears about a humanitarian catastrophe in the besieged Strip from the Israeli side.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that the mission seeks an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and to exert pressure to launch a serious political process to achieve lasting and comprehensive peace and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The newspaper added that this visit comes in light of growing frustration in Arab and Islamic countries due to the refusal of the United States – the dominant diplomatic mediator for a long time in the Middle East – to throw its weight behind calls for a ceasefire, and at a time when China is intensifying its efforts to strengthen its influence in the Middle East.
She added that Arab and Muslim leaders felt great anger at the scale of death and destruction in Gaza, which raised fears that the Israeli attack threatens to fuel local and regional threats to their security.
She added that the delegation, which consists of Saudi, Jordanian, Egyptian, Indonesian, Palestinian and Organization of Islamic Cooperation officials, seeks to meet representatives of all permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who received the delegation, said that the most urgent task is “to achieve an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, noting that Beijing firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people.”
He continued: “China opposes any forced displacement or transfer of Palestinian civilians. Israel must stop the collective punishment of Gaza residents, open humanitarian corridors as soon as possible, and prevent a large-scale humanitarian catastrophe.”
The British newspaper explained that the visit comes at a time when relief agencies have intensified their warnings about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza, which has been suffering from a shortage of fuel, water, medicine and food since Israeli forces began their air and ground attack on the Strip last month.
Israel’s ambassador to China said in a statement on Monday that the UN Security Council should call for the release of the hostages instead of a ceasefire, adding that any attempt to pressure Israel over humanitarian aid was “politically motivated.”
China challenges US diplomatic influence in the Middle East
The newspaper confirmed that while the United States is the only foreign power given that it has significant influence over Israel, China’s relations with the Middle East have grown significantly over the past two decades, mainly through trade with the region, which is the largest supplier of oil and gas to Asian superpower.
She added that Beijing has not historically sought to challenge Washington’s diplomatic and security dominance in the Arab world, but there have been signs that China is looking to raise its status in the region.