Palestinians seek diplomatic gains in China

Abbas arrives in China to garner support for and investment in the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday was hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, when he arrived for a three-day visit with the objective of building diplomatic and economic ties.

Abbas stressed the importance of the Chinese peace initiative, the “four-point proposal” put forward by Xi in 2013, which calls for achieving a two-state solution, the fostering of mutual security cooperation and peace through development.

Addressing the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing, Abbas said he was ready to cooperate with China on setting up the appropriate mechanisms to achieve the initiative, the Palestinian official WAFA news agency reported.

He also declared his support for holding a Chinese-Palestinian-Israeli political conference in China to examine ways to advance peace in the Middle East region. Abbas makes a similar declaration at almost every capital to which he arrives.

“Our hands are extended to peace in spite of the suffering we are facing from the occupation, settlements, repression and violence,” Abbas stated, according to WAFA.

“We look forward to getting back to negotiations. We look forward to the role of your country [China], the international Quartet, the Arab states, the Security Council and the effective countries in making peace a reality in the land of peace,” he added.

The Chinese have traditionally supported the Palestinians in the diplomatic sphere.

In an interview ahead of his trip, Abbas told the Xinhua news agency he believes China can make a positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East.

Abbas Zaki, a Palestinian Fatah official who is in charge of the Abbas-led party’s relations with China, told The Jerusalem Post that Abbas’ trip is timed to coincide with the upcoming Chinese Communist Party Congress, a gathering that takes place every five years and sets the official policy of the government.

“It is important for President Abbas to convey our positions to [Xi] before it convenes,” Zaki said.

During a visit to China in March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was successful in expanding bilateral cooperation with China.

Both countries made a commitment to establishing a mutual free-trade zone, and China accepted Netanyahu’s proposal for a fast track for Israeli and Chinese investors.

Israel also reached an agreement with China on several other issues, including foreign workers from China, cooperation on aviation and establishing joint laboratories.

By: World Israel News Staff