On Tuesday, the Chinese Government said it would provide US$15 million in aid to Palestine. The announcement was made by President Xi Jinping at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) being held in Beijing.
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki pointed out that Palestinian-Chinese relations have grown. “It is a chance to reaffirm the Palestinian stance on the peace process.” The foreign minister expressed eagerness to further discuss China's support for the establishment of Palestine's statehood while lauding Xi's political, economic, development and educational contributions.
Xi shared, with representatives of several Arab states, that the Chinese government had been taking steps to offer financial support for development in the Middle East.
Prior to the forum, Maliki had pointed out the significance of the CASCF, saying it is “extremely important” and actively promotes cooperation and coordination between China and the Arab world. The minister also said he hopes Palestine will play an important role in China's Belt and Road Initiative, becoming the hub which links Africa and Europe.
Maliki told Xinhua that CASCF effected an increase in trade exchange, between the Arab nations and China, from about US$37 billion at the inaugural forum in 2004 to some US$191 billion in 2017.
“Holding the CASCF on a regular basis opens the way for further trade and non-traditional aspects of the Chinese-Arab relations,” Maliki said. “We have pursued the aspirations of the two sides to increase trade volume to 600 billion dollars under China's Belt and Road Initiative.”
China is the second largest trading partner of the Arab countries. Some 22 members of the Arab League has established diplomatic relations with China.