China backs establishment of independent State of Palestine

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses members of the Arab League in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on January 21, 2016. ©AFPChina has lent its support to the establishment of the State of Palestine with East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital.

Chinese President Xi Jinping made the remarks during an address at the Arab League’s headquarters in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Thursday.

He said such state should be established based on the 1967 borders and enjoy full sovereignty.

That year saw Israel occupying and then annexing the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds during the Six-Day War in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

Xi’s remarks echoed the demands of Palestinians, who are seeking to create an independent state on the occupied territories as well as the Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel and the United States. The Palestinian flag was also raised for the first time at the UN headquarters in New York last September.

The Chinese head of state considered the issue of Palestine to be crucial to peace in the Middle East, and urged the international community to contribute to the resumption of Israel-Palestinian talks, which have been broken off due to Tel Aviv’s refusal to put a hold on its expansion of illegal settlements.

“We are in favor of putting in place a new mechanism to promote peace as to the Middle East question, and support efforts made by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation toward this end,” the Chinese president stated.

He also pledged RMB 50 million (USD 7.53 million) in aid to Palestinians.

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