Israel-Gaza war live updates: Hamas threatens to kill hostages Israel ordered to besiege Gaza.

China’s Supreme Leader Xi Jinping met with Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer in Beijing on Monday and expressed hope for “peaceful coexistence” between China and the United States, even as rising violence in the Middle East threatens both countries. The wedge between the is in danger of deepening. two powers.

“We have 1,000 reasons to improve China-US relations and not a single reason to deteriorate China-US relations,” Mr Xi said during a meeting with the Democratic senator from New York.

Mr Xi’s upbeat tone is likely to raise expectations that he will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November and meet with President Biden. Doing so would end a tumultuous year for US-China relations, which hit a low point in February following the discovery of a Chinese surveillance balloon over the US.

Still, the prospect of an escalating conflict between Israelis and Palestinians could complicate any efforts to improve relations between Beijing and Washington.

Mr. Schumer, who is leading a bipartisan congressional delegation to China, told Mr. Xi that in China’s official response to Israel’s attack by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. are “frustrated” by the lack of empathy. , on Israel.

“I urge you and the Chinese people to stand with the Israeli people and condemn the cowardly and vicious attacks,” Mr. Schumer told Mr. Xi.

Mr Schumer told a news conference after his meeting with Mr Xi that he had requested that “China not use its influence in Iran and let the fire spread”.

“They have influence with Iran in many different ways, and we asked them to do everything possible so that Iran through them and Hizb By Allah, do not spread this fitnah”.

Asked how the Chinese side responded, Mr. Schumer said, “They said they would deliver a message.”

China has avoided condemning Hamas for the attacks, choosing instead to portray itself as a neutral side in the long-running conflict.

China is a common friend of both Israel and Palestine, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Monday.

An editorial published Monday in the Global Times, attributed to a Chinese Communist Party spokesman, blamed Western countries for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an effort led by the United States. He also warned that taking sides on the issue now would only add “fuel to the fire”.

China is likely to face increasing pressure to support Israel – not unlike calls Beijing is making to pressure Russia to end its fighting in Ukraine.

Yuval Walks, a senior official at the Israeli Embassy in Beijing said on Sunday that he expects China to “strongly condemn” Hamas.

Tovia Gering, a Chinese foreign policy expert at the Diane and Gilford Glaser Center at the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel, told X that the social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, had broken “China’s moral compass.” Is.

“As the Jewish Talmud says, silence is consent,” Mr Gering wrote on Monday.

Although China and Israel maintain strong trade and investment ties, particularly as it relates to technology and infrastructure, their relationship has ultimately been strained by Israel’s deep alignment with the United States and China’s friendship with Iran. Due to reason.

China has a strategic interest in seeking friendship with all governments in the region. It gets most of its oil imports from the Middle East and considers it a key node along its Belt and Road trade network.

As the United States has scaled back its presence in the region, Mr. Xi has even sought to expand his influence in the Middle East by helping restore diplomatic ties between two rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, in March. The following month, China offered to mediate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

While those talks have never gained momentum, experts say China can still contribute constructively by offering to mediate the release of civilian hostages held by Hamas. One of the hostages is believed to be a Chinese woman who was abducted by militants at a music festival on Saturday, the embassy said on the Chinese platform Weibo on Sunday.

“China has an opportunity to demonstrate its leadership and mediation capacity more prominently,” said Gedaliah Afterman, head of the Asia Policy Program at the Abba Eban Institute for Diplomacy and Foreign Relations at Israel’s Reichman University.

“Successfully doing so will not only reduce regional tensions, but also strengthen China’s reputation as a key player in promoting de-escalation and maintaining regional stability,” he added.

Reporting was contributed by Olivia Wang, Zixu Wang, Keith Bradshaw And Alexandra Stevenson.

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