Abbas wraps up China trip with expression of support for regime’s murder of Muslims, hope that Beijing will broker Palestinian statehood

Having given up on the US, Palestinians look to China to mediate a peace deal with Israel.

By World Israel News and Associated Press

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas wrapped up a trip to China Friday that saw the octogenarian seeking economic aid and voicing support for Beijing’s repressive policies toward Muslim minorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Abbas’ four-day visit was part of a bid by Chinese President Xi Jinping to boost Beijing’s status in the Middle East and sideline the U.S.’ influence.

For its part, the Palestinian Authority is also looking at China as a viable alternative to the U.S. to broker a peace deal with Israel that would see the emergence of a Palestinian state.

PA Social Welfare Minister Ahmad Majdalani told The Times of Israel in an interview that China is ca leverage billions of dollars in trade with Israel to encourage Jerusalem to make concessions.

“We don’t think the destiny of the world is in American hands. There are other emerging powers in the world,” said Majdalani, who has a close relationship with Abbas.

“What frustrates us most about the U.S. is the double standard that they apply to the Palestinian people,” he continued. “They paid billions to support Ukraine to confront Russian occupation, all while supporting Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians.”

Read  WATCH: Can the PA still be a partner for peace?

On Wednesday, China announced that it had established a “strategic partnership” with the Palestinian Authority.

“We are good friends and partners,” Chinese president and head of the ruling Communist Party Xi Jinping said alongside Abbas. “We have always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights.”

The two leaders then issued a joint statement endorsing Beijing’s domestic and foreign policies and repudiating Western concepts of human rights.

In the statement, the Palestinian Authority said issues regarding China’s policy toward Muslims in Xinjiang have “nothing to do with human rights and are aimed at excising extremism and opposing terrorism and separatism.”

“Palestine resolutely opposes using the Xinjiang problem as a way of interfering in China’s internal affairs,” the joint statement said.

That echoes Chinese propaganda surrounding the detention of more than 1 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in prison-like detention centers on little or no legal grounds — often merely for having a relative studying abroad or downloading the Koran onto their phones.

China says the widely-documented complex of heavily-guarded centers were intended to instill patriotism, purge radicalism spread over the internet and provide vocational training — and have now been shut down. Critics say many have been turned into prisons.

Read  Palestinian Authority agrees to transfer power to Hamas if it wins election

China has campaigned furiously to counter the outside criticism, and in the competition for resources and markets, Arab states have almost never openly expressed concern over Beijing’s treatment of Muslims.

Followers of the religion make up around 2% of the population. The country is led by an officially atheistic party dominated by the majority Han ethnic group.