Dear Focus Reader,
The Middle East is currently grappling with escalating tensions and increased uncertainty, as Hamas militants launched a surprise attack into Israeli territory this week, followed by Israel retaliating on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
While both Europe and the United States have strongly condemned the actions of Hamas, labeling them as acts of terrorism, China has taken a more measured stance. Beijing has refrained from offering unequivocal support for Israel's right to self-defense and, instead, called for a ceasefire and emphasized the importance of all parties involved in efforts to de-escalate and promote a two-state solution.
During his recent trip leading a bipartisan delegation to Beijing, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer voiced his disappointment with the Chinese Foreign Ministry's initial response to the attacks during a meeting with Xi Jinping on Monday. But despite this, the lengthy meeting, covering issues like market access, trade, and the fentanyl crisis, led to both countries agreeing that cooperation and fair competition is the best path forward for the bilateral relationship.
Washington's top diplomat to China Nicholas Burns also addressed the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations this week, saying that he anticipates growth in tourism, the expansion of commercial flight services (with an increase from 24 to 48 direct flights this month), and stronger people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
Stay up to date on the latest international relations developments in China and beyond by catching up on our Focus content, including topics on China's Belt and Road Initiative, the Middle East, and bilateral competition.
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In our Focus Insights section, we shared an article by Li Yan on the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative on its 10th anniversary.
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What is your perspective on the Belt and Road Initiative's role in addressing the challenges posed by the increasing opposition to globalization and the disruptions in international supply chains?
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Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China and the U.S. every week. It is a community space to exchange thoughts and ideas about the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.