China worried as Gaza war spreads through Middle East

China worried as Gaza war spreads through Middle East
China's Middle East special envoy Zhai Jun urged the international community to remain "highly vigilant" over the potential spillover of the war in Gaza into the wider region.
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China's Middle East special envoy Zhai Jun is currently visiting the region [Getty]

China views the situation in Gaza as "very serious" with the risk of a large-scale ground conflict rising and the spread of armed conflicts along neighbouring borders, Chinese state media said on Monday, citing the country's Middle East special envoy.

The envoy Zhai Jun, who is visiting the Middle East, said spillover effects in the region and internationally are widening, as conflict along the Israeli-Lebanese and Israeli-Syrian borders spread, "making the outlook worrisome."

Zhai called on the international community to be "highly vigilant in this regard" and to take immediate action urging parties concerned to strictly abide by international humanitarian law and avoid a serious humanitarian disaster while putting in "joint efforts to control the situation."

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Zhai also said China is willing to do "whatever is conducive" to promote dialogue, achieve ceasefire and restore peace, as well as to promote the two-state solution and a just and lasting resolution to the conflict, China Central Television said.

Last week, Zhai pinned the cause of the Israel-Gaza crisis on the lack of guarantees for Palestinian rights as he met with his Russian counterpart in Qatar, a go-between in the conflict.

Zhai said China will continue maintaining close communication with the international community, including the Arab countries and will next visit the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries in the region to further strengthen coordination aimed at ending the crisis.

Prior to his trip, Zhai had phone calls with the foreign ministry heads of the Palestinians, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Norway, as well as with the special representatives at United Nations and European Union.

China has provided and will continue to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Palestinians through the United Nations and via bilateral channels to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis, Zhai added. 

Israel's ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip has killed 4,651 Palestinians, with 1,400 Israeli's also being killed in the war, many during the initial assault on southern Israel by Hamas on 7 October. 

Moreover, clashes on the Israeli-Lebanese border has so far killed 27 Hezbollah members and five Israeli soldiers, with a number of civilians also being killed in the clashes. 

(Reuters & The New Arab Staff)