The Biden administration has called on China to use its relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran to urge restraint and prevent the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict from spreading as Jerusalem prepares for its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.
The administration raised the issue with the Chinese Foreign Minister during a visit to Washington that included a meeting with President Joe Biden.
“We pressed China to take a more constructive approach, and that would include, of course, their engagements with the Iranians to urge calm,” a senior U.S. official stated following the meetings with Wang.
The official added that China “obviously has relations in the region. We think it should be using those connections to call for calm on all sides. And I think some of their comments publicly have focused in one particular direction.”
Last week, the 44th Naval Escort Task Force from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) engaged in routine operations in the Middle East, worrying American officials.
The Biden White House has said that the U.S. raised several issues with Wang, including what it described as China’s “dangerous and unlawful actions in the South China Sea.”
Earlier last week, President Biden warned China that any military action against the Philippine armed forces would result in Washington’s mutual defense treaty with Manila, prompting quickly described U.S. military action.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the issue of Beijing assisting Washington in cracking down on the export of illicit chemicals that are used to make fentanyl.
Wang and American officials discussed a potential meeting between Presidents Biden and Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in San Francisco in November.
Following the Oct. 7 massacre, Israel has criticized Beijing for not taking a harsh stance against Hamas. The Chinese foreign minister has told Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan that Israel’s military campaign in response to the terrorist attack was beyond the “scope of self-defense.”