The special envoy to the Middle East, Wang Shijie, said China aspires to play a bigger role in the region and that hopes remain high for a peaceful resolution between Israel and the Palestinians. '[Arab leaders] hope that the US will step up its work with Israel and that China can play a bigger role in the process,' he said, adding that Beijing shared similar views. Mr Wang had just returned from a trip to the region, where from October 18 to 30 he visited Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian authorities. Mr Wang described his third mission to the region as 'an effort to relax tension and promote peace talks'. He called for the United States and Israel to give Palestinian Authority prime minister Ahmed Qorei room to manoeuvre. He said Mr Qorei had promised to persuade militants to stop attacks against Israelis as long as Israel stopped building a separating wall and settlements in the West Bank. He also said that Mr Qorei's success depended on Palestinian solidarity and, more importantly, whether Israel and the US would take action to help him achieve it.