Disappointed with US, Palestine turning to China: Foreign Minister

Middle East Monitor  /  August 3, 2023

As the Biden administration has been a disappointment for them, Palestine is “increasingly turning to China”, said the Palestinian Foreign Minister on Thursday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Three years have passed since President [Joe] Biden’s promises, but we have seen nothing other than financial support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and hospitals in East Jerusalem,” Riyad al-Maliki told reporters at Foreign Ministry headquarters in the Occupied West Bank.

China seeks to boost its presence in the Middle East 

Maliki expressed his country’s frustration with the US position on Israel’s violations, including its recent attacks in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

The Biden administration has been a disappointment, he said.

Now Palestine is turning more to China, which supports their “full UN membership”, Maliki said.

“China not only seeks to increase its economic presence but also its political presence in the Middle East. Many countries in the world want China’s support as it has become a significant global player,” he added.

“There is no peace process in the Middle East. If there is one in the future, why shouldn’t China be involved alongside other countries?” he asked.

US efforts to normalize relations between Israel, Saudi Arabia 

On recent claims of normalization efforts between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Maliki stressed that Saudi Arabia has embraced the two-state solution as a condition for normalization with Israel, which includes the establishment of an independent Palestinian State within the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He added: “We hope that Saudi Arabia will maintain its stance and not yield to any pressure. We want Saudi Arabia to listen to us, the rightful owners, and consult on this matter. Palestinian-Saudi relations are strong, and we trust them.”

Peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel came to a halt in April 2014 due to factors such as Israeli’s continuation of illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied West Bank and its spurning a two-state solution.

The Palestinians accuse the US of siding with Israel and being biased in the stalled peace process.