China’s Xi calls for Palestinian state, announces aid for region

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Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing supports the creation of a Palestinian state.

Xi made the pledge of support on Jan. 21 during a visit to Cairo, according to Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper. The Chinese president said he supported creation of a Palestinian State with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, based on the pre-1967 borders.

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses members of the Arab League in Cairo on Jan. 21. /AFP/STR
Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses members of the Arab League in Cairo on Jan. 21. /AFP/STR

In a speech at Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Xi also pledged $7.6 million in aid to the Palestinian people. China will also provide $30 million in humanitarian aid to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Yemen in 2016, as well as $300 million in aid to Arab countries for bolstering law enforcement and police training, the Al-Ahram report said.

While continuing to maintain strong business ties to Israel, China has in the past expressed support for a Palestinian state.

The Israel-Palestinian peace process has been frozen since 2014.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas inflamed tensions recently by calling on Palestinian Arabs to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from Jews and their “filthy feet”.

Abbas also told Israeli journalists on Jan. 21 that he had attempted to arrange a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two months ago, and was snubbed.

Netanyahu’s staff responded to the claims, saying, “he (Abbas) has already claimed this in the past, and we denied it. …It isn’t correct. This is an attempt by Abbas to evade his responsibility for the absence of negotiations. Even today in Davos (Switzerland) Netanyahu called on Abbas to return to negotiations without preconditions.”