China and Palestine are ‘strategic partners,’ announces Xi Jinping during Mahmoud Abbas’ state visit 

China reiterated its support for Palestinian statehood with 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital and asked all parties to respect the historic status quo in the occupied territories 

June 15, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Mahmoud Abbas visits China
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Beijing on June 14. Photo: China Daily

Chinese President Xi Jinping met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and announced the establishment of a “strategic partnership” between the two countries on Wednesday, June 14.  

President Xi hosted Abbas at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Abbas also met Chinese premier Li Qiang during his three-day state visit. 

This was the fifth official visit of Abbas to China. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of formal relations between China and Palestine. 

During their meeting, Xi reiterated China’s firm support for the Palestinian right to self-determination and for the demand of establishment of an independent Palestinian state according to the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

“The historical injustice done to the Palestinian people should not be left unattended indefinitely, the legitimate rights and interest of a nation are not up for trade, and the demand to establish an independent state shall not be denied,” Xi had stated in his earlier meeting with Abbas during the first Arab-China summit held in Riyadh in December last year.  

Xi also presented a three-point proposal for the settlement of the Palestinian question. It involves the immediate establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital as the first step followed by increased international financial assistance to address the existing economic and development concerns of the Palestinians and finally a correct direction of the peace talks. 

Noting the limitations due to Palestine being an occupied territory, Xi assured Abbas as much assistance as possible to ease the humanitarian difficulties and carry out reconstruction in the occupied territories. 

The borders of the occupied Palestinian territories are controlled by Israel, which selectively provides permissions for external trade and cooperation. 

China and Palestine are already partners in the Chinese Belt and Road initiative and are also negotiating a free trade agreement.  

Xi also expressed his country’s support for the Palestinian bid to become a full state member of the UN. 

In his turn, Abbas said that the “Palestinian side believes in China’s wisdom and impartial position and looks forward to China’s greater role in promoting intra-Palestinian reconciliation and achieving peace in the Middle East,” CGTN reported