Follow us:

Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

May 8, 2013 at 6:41 AM

Beijing as a Middle East power broker

The timing is at least interesting if not a diplomatic coup of sorts. The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is in Beijing to meet with Chinese leaders. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will arrive on Wednesday. Supposedly, they will not meet.

Of course, a Chinese official made it clear to a New York Times reporter,  the Foreign Ministry would be happy to help them have a chat. Indeed. Chinese officials would love to burnish their nation’s international stature by providing a setting for diplomatic progress.

Unlike the United States, China does not have the domestic ties with Israel that complicate most political and diplomatic dealings with Israelis.

Abbas had planned to ask China to use its influence with Israel to get the country to back off economic pressures on the Palestinian economy. China can mediate and advocate for change without inciting tensions at home.

 

The world is relying on China to use its influence very close to home with North Korea. If others in distant disputes turn to Beijing for help, that invites all manner of speculation about emerging roles and status for China.

 

 

Comments | Topics: China, Israel, Palestinian Authority

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►