China’s official press agency, the Xinhua news agency, ripped Mitt Romney for saying that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Xinhua said:
U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s statement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is likely to worsen the already tense Mideast situation, and even reignite a war between Palestinians and Israelis. Romney’s remarks totally neglect historical facts and are actually irresponsible if he just meant to appeal to voters at home … his radical words were intended to win the support of U.S. Jewish voters.
Romney had also asserted that if he were president he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, which China condemned, stating that such an assertion, “if translated into action, will cause international concern. On these key issues, every serious politician should watch out for his or her words, especially those from the United States.”
China has always been afraid of offending the Arabs; as of 2010, almost half of China’s oil arrived from the Gulf. China’s pusillanimous attitude toward the Arab world can be seen by what Xinhua stated at the end of July:
China stands for a solution to the Palestinian and Israeli disputes through political and diplomatic channels on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, land-for-peace principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and the peace road map for the Middle East … China is always against the Israeli construction of settlement in occupied Palestine territory.
Relevant UN resolutions? Land for peace principles? The only time Israel gave up land for peace it was the Sinai Desert, which wasn’t considered part of the Biblical Land of Israel, and although it bought peace for roughly 30 years, Egypt isn’t likely to remain at peace with Israel now. In what world should Israel give up any land for peace?
The Arab Peace Inititative? What is it about that phrase that indicates cognitive dissonance?
Settlement in occupied Palestine Territory? The Chinese have never read the Bible, one would assume.
China has its own interests – most, if not all, of which agree with Barack Obama’s. If Mitt Romney has irritated them by anything he says, that’s a good sign.