Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday for a four-day state visit to China, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior officials. The visit comes amid China’s efforts to play a bigger role in the Middle East and mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Abbas is the first Arab head of state received by China this year, reflecting the high level of China-Palestine relations, which have traditionally been friendly. China has always firmly supported the cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights.
The visit also coincides with the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Palestine. The two sides signed several agreements and memoranda of understanding to mark the occasion.
China’s involvement in the Middle East has increased in recent years. In December last year, Xi visited Saudi Arabia and met with Abbas, where he pledged to work for an early, just and durable solution to the Palestinian issue. In March this year, China brokered the restoration of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, two regional rivals. In April this year, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang called his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts and expressed China’s willingness to aid peace negotiations.