China renews call for ceasefire and establishment of Palestinian state
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the 10th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, May 30, 2024. | Tingshu Wang / Pool Photo via AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday repeated calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and promised more humanitarian aid for Gaza. The remarks by Xi came as he opened a summit with leaders of Arab states in Beijing.

In his speech to open the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, Xi said: “Since last October, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has escalated drastically, throwing people into tremendous suffering. War should not continue indefinitely.”

He called for an international peace conference to resolve the fighting in Gaza and pledged 500 million yuan ($68.7 million) in humanitarian aid for Gaza. Xi also promised to donate $3 million to a U.N. agency that provides assistance to Palestinian refugees.

Israel is facing growing international isolation after its strike on the southern Gaza city of Rafah in which at least 45 people were killed over the weekend.

Beijing has long recognized the Palestinian state and condemned Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who spoke at the opening ceremony, called “on all active actors of the international community to assume their moral and legal responsibilities to stop the outrageous Israeli war.

“I further urge the international community to take immediate and decisive action to enforce the instantaneous and unfettered delivery of humanitarian aid and assistance to the Gaza Strip to break the Israeli siege and counter any attempts to forcibly displace the Palestinians from their lands.”

Xi also urged Arab states to deepen cooperation in areas such as trade, clean energy, space exploration, and healthcare.

The summit, attended by heads of state from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Tunisia among others, was set to focus on expanding trade and security issues relating to Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

Xi and Sissi held a bilateral meeting on Wednesday, during which they signed agreements on infrastructure, technology, and food imports.

Also at the forum was Tunisia’s President Kais Saied. China has financed hospitals and sports complexes in Tunisia, and its companies have been contracted to build strategic infrastructure such as bridges and deep-water Mediterranean ports.

The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was established in 2004 as a formal dialogue mechanism between China and Arab states.

Morning Star

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Roger McKenzie
Roger McKenzie

Roger McKenzie is the International Editor of Morning Star, Britain’s daily socialist newspaper. He is the author of the book "African Uhuru: The Fight for African Freedom in the Rise of the Global South" published by Manifesto Press.