Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in Beijing on Wednesday. Following its mediating role in the Iran-Saudi settlement, China is willing to contribute to Palestinian peace talks with Israel.
There is great anticipation worldwide, particularly in Pakistan, that this recent visit will bring renewed hope for peace in the region. Leading up to Abbas’s four-day visit, Chinese officials repeatedly suggested that China could help facilitate peace talks between Israel and Palestine.
Hua Chunying, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed China’s unwavering support for the just cause of the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights and interests in a recent tweet. She stated, “China always stands with the Palestinian people. We will continue to work towards an early, just, and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue.”
As China emerges from three years of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic and aims to reaffirm its position as a major global power, President Xi has hosted numerous world leaders this year, including those from France, Brazil, and Iran.
Regional experts in Pakistan believe that by warmly welcoming the Palestinian delegation and announcing a China-Palestine strategic partnership, the Chinese government has sent a clear message of full support to the Palestinian cause. Abdul Sattar, a research analyst from Pakistan, commended China’s role as a mediator in various global conflicts, including the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. The Palestinian issue, which has persisted for a century, holds immense significance for peace in the Middle East and on a global scale.
“It takes a peaceful country to be a peacemaker”, he added.
“We Pakistanis are grateful to China for speaking out against the ongoing Israeli atrocities on Palestinians. China has exposed the real negative role of the USA in the Palestinian issue. We hope that China will continue to play its true role in world peace and against oppression,” said Mian Noor Sikandar, a regional expert on the Middle East.
China has long maintained friendly relations with Palestinian leaders and consistently voiced support for Palestinian statehood while advocating for pro-Palestinian positions at the United Nations.
During the meeting, President Xi proposed a three-point plan to resolve the Palestinian question. He emphasized that the Palestinian issue has remained unresolved for over half a century, resulting in immense suffering for the Palestinian people. Therefore, justice must be promptly delivered to Palestine.
First, the fundamental solution lies in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital, he said.
Second, Palestine’s economic and livelihood needs should be met, and the international community needs to step up development assistance and humanitarian aid to Palestine, he said.
Third, it is important to keep to the right direction of peace talks. The historical status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem should be respected, and excessive and provocative words and actions should be avoided. A large-scale, more authoritative and more influential international peace conference should be convened so as to create conditions for the resumption of peace talks and contribute tangible efforts to help Palestine and Israel live in peace, he said.
“China stands ready to play a positive role to assist Palestine in achieving internal reconciliation and promote peace talks,” Xi said.