Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed support for a Palestinian state on Jan. 21 at an Arab League convention in Cairo. Xi reportedly advocated the state being established along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“China firmly supports the Middle East peace process and supports the establishment of a State of Palestine enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital,” said Xi at the Arab League convention.
This was the first time the Chinese president has spoken at the Arab League headquarters, and he emphasized China’s support for a Palestinian state, reports RT.
“We are in favor of putting into place a new mechanism to promote peace as to the Middle East question, and support efforts made by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation towards this end.”
Xi’s expression of support for Palestinian sovereignty came as China pledged $7.6 million in grants for solar power projects to be built in Palestinian territories, reports Ynetnews.
China has been expanding its role in international diplomacy and affairs over the last decade. Since 2005, China has increased the number of personnel contributed to United Nations Peacekeeping from 1,100 to 3,000, reports Quartz. In September 2015, China announced 8,000 additional troops to be added to the U.N. force.
Xi iterated the importance of the Palestinian question, stressing that Palestine’s sovereignty should not “fall into oblivion.”
The Chinese president’s visit to the Arab League convention comes amid a tour of nations in the Middle East. Xi made a stop in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, where he expressed support for Yemen’s government.
Xi also announced a $1 billion grant for Egypt to aid economic development. Egypt is of critical importance to China’s efforts to integrate into global trade, as it controls the Suez Canal.
Xi is set to end his tour of the Middle East with a trip to Iran, where he will likely push to reinvigorate the countries’ economic ties now that international sanctions have been lifted from Iran.