China is willing to play a positive role to promote Palestinian peace talks with Israel, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said.
Speaking at talks with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, Jinping also said he would help the Palestinians achieve internal reconciliation.
Abbas will be in the Chinese capital until Friday, Beijing has said, on his fifth official visit to the world's second-largest economy. He arrived in Beijing on Monday to hold talks with top Chinese leaders including President Xi and Premier Li Qiang.
The two sides are using the opportunity to discuss ways to advance relations and resolve longstanding challenges to the Palestinian-Israel relationship.
"The fundamental solution to the Palestinian issue lies in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital," Xi said, according to Chinese state media, reiterating a 1967 U.N. Security Council resolution that Israel has long rejected.
The Chinese president visited Saudi Arabia in December 2022 on an Arab outreach trip that also saw him meet with Abbas and pledge to "work for an early, just and durable solution to the Palestinian issue".
China's President Xi Jinping and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (Photo: Jade Gao/Pool/Getty)
Beijing has since positioned itself as a mediator in the Middle East after it brokered the restoration of ties in March between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
However, finding a lasting solution to Israeli-Palestinian tensions may be more elusive with peace negotiations between the two sides being stalled since 2014.
Jinping added during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing: “Facing unprecedented changes in the world and the new developments in the Middle East, China stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Palestine, and work for a comprehensive, just and durable solution of the Palestinian question at an early date."
During a regular press briefing last week, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called long-time Palestinian leader Abbas an "old and good friend of the Chinese people".
He added: “President Abbas is an old and good friend of the Chinese people and the first Arab head of state to be hosted by China this year. This speaks volumes about the high-level friendly relations between China and Palestine.
“China and Palestine enjoy a traditional friendship. China is one of the first countries to recognise the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the State of Palestine.
“In recent years, thanks to the personal guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Abbas, the China-Palestine relations have maintained a good momentum of growth with stronger political mutual trust and deeper friendship between the two peoples."
Beijing recognised Palestine in 1988 and established full diplomatic relations at the end of 1989. Diplomatic relations with Israel were established in 1992.