Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Opinion / Editorials

Calming tensions in the Middle East | Updated: 2024-04-16 21:51
Share - WeChat
An Israeli anti-missile system intercepts drones and missiles launched by Iran, as seen on Sunday from Ashkelon, Israel. Amir Cohen / REUTERS

Within hours of Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel on Sunday, China initiated intensive diplomatic mediation efforts involving Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel, seeking to use its balanced relations with these countries to calm the situation in the Middle East.

Iran has stated that its military action was in response to Israel's airstrike on its consulate in Damascus, Syria, and it deems the matter to be concluded, so there is no reason why a lid cannot be kept on the tensions, if all parties in the region refrain from acting rashly as China is urging.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi's talk by telephone on Monday with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud testifies to Riyadh and Beijing having a solid foundation on which to coordinate efforts to exert influence on Teheran and Tel Aviv, whether directly or indirectly, so as to prevent a further escalation of tensions.

Wang also talked by telephone with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the same day, in which he condemned the attack on Iran's embassy as a serious violation of international law. He recognized the restraint Iran demonstrated in its response, which was not aimed at any neighboring country, and Teheran's willingness to continue to pursue peace and stability in the region.

Until the conflict erupted in Gaza, the realization of the common aspiration of countries in the region for a regional environment conducive to development had seemed to be on the cards after the China-brokered reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Beijing believes that Teheran, having made its point, can avoid further actions that aggravate the tensions while safeguarding Iran's sovereignty and dignity. And although Israel has an advanced defense system, the losses it incurred from Iran's measured retaliation on Sunday should be enough to convince Tel Aviv of the potentially dire consequences of opening a new front against Iran. Such a development would be in no country's interests, including the United States, which has so far been reluctant to use its influence to exert any meaningful pressure to rein in Israel's aggression in Gaza.

China is deeply concerned about the current escalation of regional tensions. It urges all parties concerned to maintain maximum restraint. The latest diplomatic efforts of Beijing should also be regarded as an integral part of its endeavor to help broker a cease-fire in Gaza and secure a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue and a continuation of its bid to stabilize the region as a whole.

This round of escalation of tensions is nothing but the latest spillover effect from the conflict in Gaza. The world should be more vigilant against the longstanding frictions in the region causing sparks to fly due to hotheaded decisions and reckless moves, since these have the potential to ignite a tinderbox of troubles.

Attention should continue to be focused on the root cause of regional chaos: the long-time prevention of the Palestinian people realizing their legitimate national rights, which is the longest-lasting injustice in modern times.

That's why Wang rightly pointed out that the top priority for the time being is to strictly implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2728, immediately achieve an unconditional and lasting cease-fire, protect civilians, and ensure humanitarian relief can reach the besieged Palestinians in Gaza who are in dire need of it.

The international community should take more active actions to support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the convening of a larger, more authoritative international peace conference that formulates a realizable timetable and road map for the implementation of the two-state solution.

The longer the conflict in Gaza drags on, the more possibility there is that a stray spark will ignite a wild fire.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349