China Says Lack of Palestinian State 'A Terrible Injustice'

One month after Netanyahu visit, Palestinian Foreign Minister meets with Chinese counterpart, who reaffirms Beijing's support for Palestinian statehood.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, left, talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before their meeting in Beijing Thursday, April 13, 2017
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, left, talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before their meeting in Beijing Thursday, April 13, 2017 Parker Song/AP

China reaffirmed its support for the Palestinian government's claims for statehood on Thursday, during a visit by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

The fact that Palestinians still do not have a sovereign state is a "terrible injustice" that can't continue, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

China supports Palestinians' efforts to create an independent state based on the borders set before the 1967 Six-Day War as well as the establishment of its future capital in East Jerusalem, Wang said in a joint press conference in Beijing with al-Maliki.

Israel has called the pre-1967 borders "indefensible," though they were also endorsed by the United States during the Obama administration.

"Seventy years later, what we see is that our Palestinian brothers have yet to establish an independent state with full sovereignty," Wang said. "This is unfair, and this terrible injustice must be addressed, and it cannot continue."

China supports the two-state solution, as well as the Arab Peace Initiative, a 2002 proposal to normalize ties between Israel and Arab states in return for an independent Palestinian state, Wang said.

"Despite all the hotspot issues popping up in the Middle East, the issue of Palestine remains the central issue," he said.

Al-Maliki said the two-state solution is the only way to resolve conflict in the region and that establishing the Palestinian state is the "cornerstone of the fight against terrorism."

China has pledged 50 million yuan ($7.3 million) in humanitarian assistance to Palestine and will help it build a solar-power station, Wang said.

China also has good relations with Israel, with which it established a new series of technology-focused cooperation agreements during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Beijing last month.