March 18, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11206

Chinese Foreign Ministry Official To Hamas Leader Isma'il Haniya: Hamas Is Part Of The Palestinian National Fabric; China Will Maintain Its Ties With It

March 18, 2024
Palestinians, China | Special Dispatch No. 11206

On March 17, 2024, a Hamas delegation led by Isma'il Haniya, head of the movement's political bureau,  met in Qatar with Wang Kejian, an official in the Chinese foreign ministry. The meeting was also attended by China's ambassador to Qatar, Cao Xiaolin. According to a statement issued by Hamas after the meeting, China, unlike the U.S. and some European countries, recognizes it as a legitimate part of the Palestinian fabric.

The following are details about the meeting, as presented in Hamas' statement.

Posted on Hamas' Telegram channel, the statement notes that the sides discussed "the political developments on the ground that are relevant to the situation in the Gaza Strip, the ways to stop the war our [Palestinian] people are facing, and the delivery of urgent aid to rescue [the people], especially in light of the killing, starvation, massacres and attempts to create chaos."

Haniya said that he was "proud of the close relations between the two friendly peoples" and hailed the role played by China in the UN, the Security Council and the International Court of Justice, as well as the aid it has dispatched to the Gaza Strip. The statement adds that Haniya "stressed the need to act quickly to stop the aggression and massacre, cause the occupation army to withdraw [from the Gaza Strip], return the displaced [Gazans to their homes] and provide what is needed to rebuild [the Strip]. In addition, [he called] to promote the political goals and aspirations, namely the establishment of a fully sovereign, independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and to implement the [Palestinians'] right of return and right to self-determination."

Kejian, for his part, "stressed the close and historical relations between the Palestinian and Chinese peoples, as well as China's unwavering positions on the Palestinian issue and its support of the Palestinian people's just demands for freedom, independence and the establishment of the Palestinian state." He [too] called to stop the war, end the killing of the Palestinians and meet their humanitarian needs. The statement noted that he "emphasized that the Hamas movement is part of the Palestinian national fabric and that China is acting to preserve the relations with it."[1]

Isma'il Haniya's meeting with Wang Kejian (Image: Movement Official, March 17, 2024)

Isma'il Haniya's meeting with Wang Kejian (Image: Movement Official, March 17, 2024)

It should be noted that this meeting comes three weeks after Haniya met in Qatar with the Chinese ambassador himself, and expressed his pride in "the close relations" between the two peoples, praised China's role in the UN and the Security Council and thanked it for the aid sent to the Gaza Strip.[2] Hamas' statement on this meeting did not present the ambassador's reply.

 It should also be noted that, since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas following the latter's deadly October 7, 2023 attack, China has aligned itself with the Palestinians and Hamas. China did not condemn the Hamas attack and initially sufficed with calling on both sides to refrain from harming civilians, while repeatedly exhorting Israel to stop the fighting immediately, without referring to the reason for the outbreak of the war.[3]

In a February 22, 2024 debate at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Chinese representative Ma Xinmin even appeared to justify the massacre. He stated that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict stems from the occupation and the ongoing oppression of the Palestinians by Israel, and added: "The Palestinian people have the right to use force to resist the foreign oppression and realize the establishment of the Palestinian state… The violence on the part of the Palestinians against Israel is not terrorism but legitimate armed struggle."[4]


[1] Movement Official, March 17, 2024.

[2] See MEMRI JTTM Report: Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh Meets With Chinese Ambassador To Qatar, February 29, 2024.

[3] For example, during a debate in the Security Council on February 22, 2024, the Chinese representative called for an immediate ceasefire and stressed that the two-state solution is the way "to redress the historical injustice" caused to the Palestinians (, February 22, 2024).

[4], February 22, 2024.

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