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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, July 19, 2017 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

How Serious Are China’s Offers To Mediate Conflicts in the Islamic World?

Monday, July 31, 2017

When Chinese President Xi Jinping met privately in Beijing on July 18 with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, he floated the idea of three-way talks in which the Chinese government would attempt to mediate between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. At a time when it seems the United States under President Donald Trump is disengaging from global leadership, Xi’s proposal hints at the possibility of reshaping the political landscape of the Middle East.

Can China actually supplant the U.S. as the primary external diplomatic force in the region? It is a question that loomed over Xi’s posturing even as the Chinese plan for trilateral dialogue with Israelis and Palestinians fizzled at the first inevitable hurdle: The Israeli government has shown no inclination to participate. ...

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