In April, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang told his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts of his country’s willingness to help with peace talks, in two separate calls.
China announced, on Wednesday, the establishment of a “strategic partnership” with the Palestinian Authority, during a visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Beijing, which will last until Friday.
The announcement comes in a broader Chinese context to expand Beijing’s political and economic influence in the Middle East, where there is competition with the United States.
The US Associated Press notes that China is seeking to secure energy resources and markets for its military and civilian exports, while “marketing, with Russia’s support, an authoritarian model of ruling regimes, in clear defiance of the Western democratic model.”
“China is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the Palestinian side, in the face of a century of global changes and new developments of the situation in the Middle East,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a reception in the Great Hall of the People.
“Today, we will jointly announce a strategic partnership between China and Palestine, which will mark an important milestone in the history of bilateral relations,” Xi added.
Abbas and Xi are holding talks with senior Chinese leaders, including Premier Li Qiang. The two sides’ discussions will discuss means of strengthening relations and facing the long-term challenges of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Beijing has sought to strengthen its relations in the Middle East, defying US influence, in an effort that worries Washington.
In April, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang informed his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts of his country’s willingness to assist in peace talks, in two separate calls.
Chen urged Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to take “steps to resume peace talks”. “China is willing to facilitate this,” he said, according to Xinhua news agency.
Chen told Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki that Beijing supports the resumption of talks as soon as possible, according to the agency. In the two calls, Chen stressed China’s pursuit of peace talks on the basis of implementing the “two-state solution.”
“President Abbas is an old friend of the Chinese people,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular press conference on Friday.
He added that Abbas is “the first Arab head of state to be received by China this year, which embodies the high level of traditionally good Sino-Palestinian relations.”
He continued, “The Palestinian issue is the core of the Middle East issue and affects peace and stability in the Middle East and international justice and justice.”
Riyadh and Tehran
Beijing played the role of mediator in the Middle East and contributed to restoring relations in March between Iran and Saudi Arabia, two rivals in a region where the United States has for decades viewed itself as the main mediator.
However, resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more complicated, especially since negotiations between the two sides have been completely suspended since 2014.