Israel ‘unhappy’ with China’s ‘not as strong as expected’ response to Iranian attack

by Sylvie Zhuang at

Israel has said it was disappointed with China’s response to Iran’s missile and drone attack on Saturday.

“We were hoping for stronger condemnation and clear acknowledgment of Israel’s right to defend itself,” said Yuval Waks, the deputy chief of the Israeli mission in China told a press briefing on Monday when asked what response the embassy had hoped for.

“Unfortunately, we did not see that, which is why we were unhappy with the statement [from the Chinese foreign ministry],” said Waks.

On Sunday the ministry expressed “deep concern” about the risk of the conflict escalating and called for the immediate implementation of a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The statement, which Israel said was “not as strong as expected”, also urged unnamed “influential countries” to play a constructive role.

Saturday’s attack, which follows the recent deadly attack on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria, was the Islamic Republic’s first direct assault on Israeli territory and has heightened concerns about a wider regional conflict.
The United States and its allies have condemned the attack, with US President Joe Biden pledging “ironclad” support for Israel.

Meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry on Monday said China’s special envoy for Middle East affairs Zhai Jun had met Irit Ben-Abba, the Israeli ambassador. The statement said Zhai called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza but did not comment on Israel’s concerns.

Waks also said the embassy had contacted Chinese officials in Beijing and conveyed Israel’s concerns following the attacks on Saturday.

He said “we are aware of the good bilateral relations between China and Iran, but we feel the need to express our grave concerns to the Chinese regarding Iran’s negative role in our region and its support of terror groups”.

He also urged China to tell Hamas the hostages still being held after the October 7 attack “should be set free right now”.