Policy paper: China’s potential role in international mediation

I have published a policy paper with the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. The executive summary is as follows:

Since the concurrent visits of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in May 2013, there has been speculation in both Chinese and international media that China is poised to play a mediation role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This also reflects expectations by the international community and China’s academic community that as its economy continues to grow and its international interests expand, Chinawill becomea more active diplomatic player.

This policy paper assesses China’s potential role as a mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of the ‘supply-demand’ model of mediation as a framework of foreign policy behaviour. According to this, as a mediation is a voluntary process, its occurrence depends on both the disputants’ and third party’s willingness to undertake it. Currently, China does not meet the conditions necessary for mediation; that is, there is neither sufficient demand from the Israeli and Palestinian sides, nor sufficient motivation for China to supply mediation. This makes the possibility of China acting as a mediator of this conflict very low. However, as mediation does not contradict China’s diplomatic principles, it is possible that these conditions may be met in the future.

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