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China pledges additional humanitarian assistance for Gaza

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 30 May 2024 at 03:10

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made a pledge of additional humanitarian assistance for Gaza, emphasized China’s commitment to supporting the Palestinian people and outlined a series of initiatives aimed at fostering deeper cooperation between China and Arab states.

He made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing on May 30, 2024.

As he delivered remarks, President Xi highlighted the historical ties and ongoing partnership between China and Arab nations, rooted in the ancient Silk Road and shared struggles for national development.

"The friendship between the Chinese and Arab peoples is deeply rooted in our friendly exchanges along the ancient Silk Road, in our joint struggles for national liberation, and in our win-win cooperation in promoting national development," he stated.

Reflecting on the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, President Xi reiterated China’s steadfast support for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine "that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital."

"War should not continue indefinitely. Justice should not be absent forever. Commitment to the two-state solution should not waver at will," he asserted.

In a significant move, he announced additional financial support to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. "On top of the previous RMB 100 million yuan of emergency humanitarian assistance, China will provide an additional RMB 500 million yuan [approximately US$70 million] of assistance to help ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and support post-conflict reconstruction," President Xi declared.

President Xi further committed to donating US$3 million to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

The Israel-Palestine conflict resurfaced last year after Hamas attacks on October 7 killed about 1,200 Israelis. Despite over 70 years of unresolved conflict and more than 130 UN resolutions, the war has reignited international divisions. China and Arab states support Palestinians, while Israel faces growing criticism, especially after striking Rafah in southern Gaza. On Monday, the Gaza Health Ministry reported the death toll from Israeli attacks since last October has reached 36,050.

The opening ceremony of the ministerial conference saw the participation of Arab leaders, including King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, Egyptian President Abdul Fatah El-Sisi, Tunisian President Kais Saied, President Mohamed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, and Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit of the League of Arab States.

The leaders reaffirmed their stance on legitimizing Palestinian rights and establishing an independent Palestinian state. They also called for continued efforts to coordinate for lasting peace.

Among others, President Xi highlighted broader themes of cooperation and a shared future between China and Arab states. He shed light on the progress made since the first China-Arab States Summit in 2022 and announced plans for the second summit in China in 2026.

"China is satisfied with the progress we have made in delivering on the Summit’s outcomes. It will work with the Arab side to enhance the role of the Summit in providing strategic guidance for continued leapfrog growth of China-Arab relations," he said.

Emphasizing mutual respect and shared goals, President Xi outlined five cooperation frameworks to build a China-Arab community with a shared future. These frameworks include innovation, investment and finance, energy cooperation, economic and trade ties, and people-to-people exchanges.

"Building a China-Arab community with a shared future is a strong statement of our common desire for a new era of China-Arab relations and a better future for the world," he remarked.

President Xi also addressed the importance of global governance and multipolarity.

"The entire humanity shares one common future, which has become an inevitable trend. But deficits in governance, trust, peace, and development are getting wider. This calls on us to improve global governance under the principle of ‘planning together, building together, and benefiting together,’" he stated, expressing China’s readiness to work with Arab nations to champion an equal and inclusive global order.

President Xi delivering remarks at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing.
King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain also attended the opening ceremony.
Egyptian President Abdul Fatah El-Sisi joined Arab leaders as they reaffirmed their stance on legitimizing Palestinian rights and establishing an independent Palestinian state.
Tunisian President Kais Saied also joined Arab leaders at the conference.
President Mohamed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates delivering his speech.
The 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing on May 30, 2024.
President Xi Jinping interacting with Arab leaders following the opening ceremony.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has made a pledge of additional humanitarian assistance for Gaza.

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