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November 22, 2023
Focus This Week
A community space to discuss the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

Dear Focus Reader,

It's been a month and half since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out, and just a week since U.S. President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of APEC, where he called on Xi to use his influence with Iran to ease the hostilities in Gaza.

While little direct collaboration has occurred between Beijing and Washington on the matter, aside from a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreeing to work together to prevent the conflict from spreading, Xi recently made his first public comments on the war in a speech to a virtual summit of BRICS nations.

He called for an "international peace conference" aimed at resolving the conflict, and said that a two-state solution is the only way to achieve peace in Israel and Gaza. He also laid out a three-pronged strategy for dealing with the conflict, urging the release of hostages and an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, stating that humanitarian assistance should be provided to Gaza, and calling on the international community to act with practical measures to prevent the spread of conflict and endangering stability in the Middle East as a whole.

Following Xi's speech this week, Israel and Hamas have agreed to a temporary ceasefire in Gaza to allow for the release of 50 hostages held by the militant group in exchange for 150 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, which is expected to begin Thursday morning. It was also agreed upon to allow for more aid to enter the enclave.

China also hosted senior officials from predominantly Middle Eastern nations on Monday for talks on deescalating the Israel-Hamas conflict. While China's ongoing role in the conflict remains to be seen, the war follows Beijing's successful brokerage between Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic relations earlier this year, and some analysts wonder if this will translate into Beijing seeking to become a similar mediator in the ongoing conflict.

Stay in the know on international relations by catching up on our latest Focus content, including topics on the future of the China-U.S. relationship, bringing diverse voices into the China space, and China's economy.

We wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate!

Focus Insights
Quote of the Week
"The world is watching and it is our shared responsibility to work towards a future where both Palestine and Israel can co-exist in harmony and peace together with friendly collaboration."
Muhammad Yunus
Economist and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

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Question of the Week:

In our Focus Insights section, we shared an article by Ma Xue about diplomatic challenges in the U.S.-China relationship.

We want to hear from you:

How would you assess the impact of recent meetings between top U.S. and Chinese officials in terms of promoting understanding and cooperation between the two countries? What are the key challenges and opportunities in the diplomatic, economic, and trade ties between China and the U.S.?

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About Focus This Week

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.

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