Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was received with full military honors at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China’s capital, on Wednesday where the president and head of the ruling Communist Party, Xi Jinping, signed a “strategic partnership” with the PA.
“We are good friends and partners,” President Xi Jinping told Abbas at the start of their meeting. “We have always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights.”
“China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the Palestinian side to promote a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue as soon as possible,” he said.
Xi told Abbas that China supports Palestine becoming a full member of the UN. Chinese state media quoted Xi as saying that he supported the establishment of an “independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital”.
Abbas said his administration was “looking forward to strengthening cooperation with China within the framework of its initiative” and securing investments.
Abbas met with Chinese Premier Li Qiangon Thursday, calling the Palestinian President “an old friend of the Chinese people” who has made “important contributions to the promotion of China-Palestinian relations.”
China is seeking new markets for its products and new sources of energy and while the PA does not have much to offer in those areas, the two countries share authoritarian approaches to government.
China has also made overtures to Israel in an attempt to expand its diplomatic presence and gain access to Israel’s burgeoning high-tech sector. Many countries in the Middle East are rearranging their alliances as the US aligns with Iran. In March, China brokered a groundbreaking rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, visited Beijing in February – the first Iranian leader to visit China in 30 years.