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Chinese president voices support for Palestine during meeting with Abbas

July 18, 2017 11:17 P.M. (Updated: July 19, 2017 9:20 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a press conference on Tuesday, where the leaders stated that China would continue supporting the Palestinian people and announced the signing of several cooperation agreements. 

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping had stated that China would continue to support the “Palestinian cause and struggle to regain their national rights regardless of the international developments,” and would continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people. 

Xi also reportedly stated that China was following with “interest” developments in the US President Donald Trump-led peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis, which has so far resulted in the introduction of minor Israeli policies aimed at easing the economic suffering of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

For Abbas’ part, he thanked Xi for his continued support of Palestine. “China remains the best friend of our people and the best supporter of our national cause,” Abbas reportedly said. In addition, Abbas decorated Xi with the Grand Medal of Palestine in a show of respect, according to Wafa. 

Abbas and Xi also reportedly signed four agreements to improve economic, technical, culture, and capacity building cooperation between the countries. 

Abbas landed in China on Monday, in a trip aimed at confirming the longstanding relationship between China and Palestine, as China was one of the first countries to recognize the Palestinian state in 1988 and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which opened up an embassy in Beijing in 1974. 

Meanwhile, back at home, Abbas has come under fierce condemnation in recent weeks for issuing policies in the besieged Gaza Strip aimed at intentionally exacerbating the dire humanitarian situation in the territory, in order to wrestle control from Hamas, the de facto leaders of Gaza.

His policies have focused on deepening the financial difficulties of many civil servants in Gaza, while implementing policies that have put further strain on Gaza’s weak healthcare system, with sick patients in Gaza now unable to access life-saving medical treatment due to PA policies, and an ongoing power crisis, also exacerbated by the PA. 
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