China Calls for Independent Palestinian State Based on '67 Borders With Capital East Jerusalem

China Foreign Ministry spokesperson notes that he understands the Islamic countries' concern about the status of Jerusalem

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Haaretz
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Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, December 14, 2017.
Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, December 14, 2017.Credit: Nicolas Asfouri / AP
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Haaretz

China called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Xinhua state media reported Thursday.

"China understands the Islamic countries' concern about the status of Jerusalem," a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, adding that China "calls for a resolution to the issue in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and international consensus."

China also called for resuming talks between Israelis and Palestinians in the near future in order to provide a chance to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The remarks come a week after a Chinese high-tech delegation canceled its trip to Israel following U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Chinese Embassy has issued a formal travel warning, valid until January 10, 2018. China is concerned about the security situation following Trump's announcement, and expects the conflict to impact its investment programs in Israel.

China's increased interest in Israel is primarily based on its desire to shift its economic structure and transition from pollutant-heavy industry to a modern tech-driven economy. Severe air and food pollution in China, and the strength of social networking sites in the country, have sparked interest in mobile, internet, water, agricultural and advanced manufacturing technologies. Israel, which is popularly recognized as an innovative and technologically advanced country (including in water and agricultural technology), answers these needs.

In August, China revealed a four-point proposal aimed at ending the Mideast conflict, calling both Israel and the Palestinians "important partners" in its "One Belt, One Road" initiative, a mammoth Chinese-funded push to develop transport routes including ports, railways and roads to expand trade in a vast arc of countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

In April, China reaffirmed its support for the Palestinians' aspiration for statehood, calling the fact that they still do not have a state a "terrible injustice" that cannot continue.

In January 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for establishing a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders amid efforts by China to assert its clout in the Middle East.

"China supports the peaceful process in the Middle East [and] the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital being eastern Jerusalem," Xi told the Arab League in Cairo.

Ruti Levy and AP contributed to this report

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