President Xi declared that any peace deal with Israel must involve the creation of an independent Palestinian state
Chinese President Xi Jinping once stated that he is willing to take the opportunity of establishing an independent Palestinian state to promote peace talks between Israel and Palestine. In recent months, Beijing has emerged as a powerful mediator in the Middle East and a potential peacemaker in Ukraine.
Xi met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. “We are good friends and partners,” The Chinese leader told Abbas, adding that his government had “Always firmly support the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights.”
According to Chinese state media, Xi Jinping told Abbas that he was “We are willing to play an active role in helping Palestine achieve internal reconciliation and promote peace talks.”
“The solution to the Palestinian question is fundamental to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Xi said he reiterated China’s longstanding support for a 1967 UN Security Council resolution that called for Israel to withdraw from territories it seized during the Arab-Israeli war.
Israel rejected the resolution, and its forces continued to occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem, building illegal settlements in the former and considering the latter part of its capital. Although Israeli troops withdrew from Gaza in 2005, it maintains a near-total blockade of the populated strip.
Peace talks aimed at a two-state solution – in which Palestinians would have full sovereignty over Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – collapsed in 2014. U.S. President Joe Biden publicly backed the settlement but recognized East Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, blocking efforts by the U.N. Security Council to formally condemn the policy despite criticism of Israel’s West Bank settlements.
Back in April, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang held separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian diplomats before announcing that Beijing was ready to assist in the negotiations. The proposal comes less than a month after Xi negotiated the restoration of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia after a seven-year freeze.
The deal marks China’s first successful foray into Middle East diplomacy, an area in which the United States has been a major influencer for decades. It has also established China as a reliable broker as Beijing seeks international support for its 12-point roadmap to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.
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For Abbas, the meeting with Xi was also about tangible short-term gain.The two leaders signed several bilateral cooperation agreements on Tuesday, Abbas said “We especially appreciate the Chinese side’s commitment to finance some of the development projects proposed by Palestine.”
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