On Thursday, April 13, China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said Palestinians must be able to found an independent state to correct an “historical injustice.” In a press conference in Beijing with Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, Wang reiterated China’s longstanding support for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Wang noted that 70 years after the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181 calling for the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states in Palestine, Palestinian Arabs are still being denied their independence. “This is unfair. This kind of historical injustice must be corrected. It cannot continue,” Wang said.
Wang further noted the urgency of restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which remain stalled in the face of Israel’s continued construction of illegal settlements and the Trump administration’s seemingly being hell-bent on entrenching the policies of the most extreme of far-right Israeli governments.
Palestine’s al-Maliki said he hopes China will play a greater role in brokering a peace agreement. “And we do encourage China to do more in this direction in order to see peace ultimately achieved in our region,” adding that Palestinians appreciate and welcome China’s efforts to facilitate peace.
China’s President Xi Jinping told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last March that peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine would be good for both parties and the region, and that the international community favored it. Xi said in Cairo in January 2016 that East Jerusalem should be established as the capital of the Palestinian state and warned against the “marginalization” of the Palestinian struggle for statehood. “China supports the peaceful process in the Middle East and the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem,” the Chinese leader said during an address to the Cairo-based Arab League. “Maintaining the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people is the responsibility of the Arab League as well as the international community.”