Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas traveled to China for the fifth time in his term. The state visit lasted four days and resulted in the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries.

Abbas was the first Arab head of state to be received by China this year, which was seen in the Asian country as a sign of the importance that Xi Jinping’s government attaches to Palestine.

As on previous occasions, the Chinese president has advocated the creation of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

China was one of the first countries to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the State of Palestine. This year, the countries celebrate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of relations.

The Palestinian ambassador to China, Fariz Mehdawi, spoke about the importance of the new type of relationship between the two countries. “With China as it is, where it stands as the second largest economy in the world, as a true superpower, member of the Security Council, for us in Palestine that means a lot, especially as Palestine is in a region where we are surrounded for all our Arab brothers in the Middle East who have, by the way, a very excellent relationship with China. So that’s really the importance of raising our relationship to this level of Strategic Partnership”, said the ambassador.

Historically, China has advocated for Palestine to become a full member state of the United Nations. In addition to establishing an independent Palestinian state, Xi included two more points in a proposal for resolving the Palestinian issue.

On the one hand, meeting Palestine’s economic and subsistence needs. The Chinese president said the international community needs to step up development assistance as well as humanitarian aid to the Middle Eastern country. And on the other hand, the Chinese president proposed that a large-scale international peace conference be convened, with the authority and influence to create conditions for the resumption of peace talks.

The member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Wasel Abu Youssef, recognized the importance of the three-point proposal, in conversation with the CGTN. “These three mechanisms that the Chinese president spoke about go in the right direction. We highly value China’s position, and as a Palestinian people, we understand the importance of supporting our struggle for the freedom of the Palestinian people. For that, we thank China .For warmly welcoming President Mahmoud Abbas, and discussing political, humanitarian and other issues.”

Mehdawi, on the other hand, highlights the importance of China defending what has been agreed within the scope of the UN. “China believes that the solution to the crisis we have, especially regarding the Palestinian cause, is based on international legitimacy. When we talk about the parameters of the solution, it is exactly what the international community endorses in the UN system. This is very important because, unfortunately, the United States does not go that far. For example, the United States has moved its embassy to East Jerusalem, which is totally unacceptable and not in line with what is legitimate internationally. While China adopts its position exactly as it should be, which is in accordance with Resolution 242 of the United Nations, which took place after the 1967 war. That is the main difference between the two sides”.

The joint declaration between the two countries also included economic aspects, such as cooperation in building the New Silk Road and making full use of the mechanism of the China-Palestine Joint Commission on Trade.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokeswoman Shu Jueting said the government is willing to streamline the negotiation process for a China-Palestine Free Trade Agreement, as well as improve bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

“These circumstances in which we are living in Palestine, which are abnormal; this is not an ordinary country. We are talking about a country that is actually under occupation. What are we demanding, and what can our friends help us with, it really is directly related to our priorities. What is our priority? Our priority is to be independent and create jobs for our people. So, in the next month, or in the next few weeks, a Chinese delegation will go to Palestine to discuss with all the relevant institutions , companies, among others, to really discuss how we are going to implement this. Because we offer a series of projects that have already been approved, but now we need to see the technical aspects and how we are going to implement them in practice”, explained the Palestinian ambassador to China.

Editing: Thales Schmidt


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