Contributed by Jim Hayes
The call by Chinese leader Xi Jinping for a Palestinian with East Jerusalem as its capital is timely, given the prospect of pressure from the new Trump administration in the United States to deny Palestinian statehood in any from and Israel’s increasingly hard-line stand.
The statement came during an address to Arab League in Cairo (Egypt) on 21 January.
Xi Jinping also called for this state to exist based on the 1967 borders, which takes on considerably more territory than the existing Palestinian territories, considered by many to be insufficient for viable nationhood.
Ha added that the Palestinian problem “should not be marginalised.”
China has pledged to contribute 50 million yuan ($7.6 million) in aid.
The effect will be considerable and will add weight to the Palestinian cause, facing sustained pressure from new Israeli settlements and escalating restrictions being placed on the Palestinian populations in Gaza and the West Bank.
The Netanyahu government has also been cracking down on its own citizens accused of being pro-Palestinian, engaging on a diplomatic offensive against countries it calls anti-Israel and threatening to leave the United Nations, for adopting a recent resolution against the expansion of Israeli settlements.
China’s tough stand will have an impact on the United Nations, working to add to resolutions that call on Israel to pull back from conflict, stop the settlements and talk about a Palestinian state.
For China, this means an expansion of growing credibility in the region.
During this visit 21 cooperation deals were signed with Egypt, in different fields including energy, technology, investment, transport, agriculture, housing and culture as well as a 1-billion-dollar grant offered to Egypt’s central bank.
Xi has signed a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia and at the time of writing is due to visit Iran.
The strategy will provide leverage to encourage regional cooperation and this could lead toward a political alliance that will not only isolate Israel, but isolate Israel’s biggest supporter, the United States.
A solution to the Palestinian problem is essential to securing regional peace once and for all and providing the best conditions for its peoples to live together and cooperate with each other. In doing this, a significant threat to the world can start to be put to rest.