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Palestine welcomes China's initiatives

By Ahmad Majdalani | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-07-06 06:20

Tourists pack the ancient city of Datong in Shanxi province on Jan 29. WU JUNJIE/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

Palestinians have a strategic interest in the growing role and power of China as a friendly state. The increase in China's economic and political influence at the international level is essential for maintaining global peace and development in accordance with the China-proposed Global Civilization Initiative, which is aimed at building a new, fair and just multipolar world order as an alternative to the existing unipolar and unfair international order.

The Global Civilization Initiative draws on China's long history and the prime position it once held as a civilization.

Proposing the Global Civilization Initiative earlier this year, President Xi Jinping said it will inject fresh and strong energy into common development and progress in a world fraught with multiple challenges and crises. Elaborating on the initiative at the Communist Party of China in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting in March, Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, called for respecting the diversity of civilizations, advocating the common values of humanity, valuing the inheritance and innovation of civilizations, and strengthening people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.

We Palestinians welcome the Global Civilization Initiative, as it is based on mutual respect, mutual benefit, equality and development of all countries. Fair and just resolution of global and regional issues has been hindered under the United States-led world order. The Global Civilization Initiative, on the other hand, is a visionary initiative that aligns with Palestinian aspirations and could help the Palestinian president to convene an international peace conference.

The initiative creates an ideal opportunity in the year that marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Palestine and China to work toward achieving tangible results, in order to realize better benefits for the peoples of both countries and expand cooperation in various fields. Sino-Palestinian constructive cooperation has been progressing well, giving us enough reasons to be optimistic about the possibility of further deepening pragmatic cooperation.

Besides, the Belt and Road Initiative is not merely a modern version of the ancient Silk Road; it is also a vehicle to boost China's soft power and crystallize the contours of China's growing role in the international system which is undergoing structural changes. It is based on trade and economy, common interests, and market openness, not on any ideology, as is the case with the US-led world order. In fact, for the US and some other Western countries, even their foreign policies are shaped based on their ideology.

Sino-Palestinian diplomatic relations are based on the acknowledgement of the "one China" principle, which is also the fundamental political basis for the development of bilateral relations between China and other countries. China treats all countries as equals, emphasizes the importance of consultation and dialogue to resolve bilateral and regional issues, and promotes common development without attaching any political conditions.

Given these facts, we Palestinians support and are ready to participate in the Global Civilization Initiative, the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative.

During Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's four-day visit to China starting on June 14, the two sides jointly announced the establishment of a strategic partnership. President Xi said China and Palestine are good friends and partners that trust and support each other.

Given the fast-changing international situation and new changes in the situation in the Middle East, China has said it is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Palestine to promote a comprehensive, fair and lasting solution to the Palestine issue. In fact, China has always supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights.

The two sides should therefore deepen cooperation and promote genuine pluralism to better protect the common interests of developing countries and help build a fair and just world order. It is necessary to mention here that China is taking measures to expand coordination and cooperation with Palestine to push for an early, just and sustainable resolution to the Palestinian issue.

Further, the strategic partnership between the two sides is an important milestone in bilateral relations, which will pave the way for China to consolidate friendly cooperation with Palestine in various fields.

We expect China to continue supporting the just Palestinian cause, and hope that China will spare no efforts in helping seek serious negotiations in an attempt to resolve the Palestinian issue. And as Palestinians, we must seize this historic moment to strengthen relations with China as a strategic partner and true friend. Palestine also needs to increase practical engagement in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative while playing an important role in shaping humanity's shared destiny.

China has begun its journey to build a modern socialist country, which would achieve the goals of developing Arab-Chinese projects and launching strategic partnerships between China and Arab countries, representing a successful model of solidarity, cooperation and mutual benefit.

We Palestinians should strive to achieve shared development, promote justice and fairness, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and integrate the Belt and Road Initiative with the development projects of Arab states, implement the consensuses reached at the Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development in Riyadh in December last year, promote the values of solidarity, tolerance and mutual respect, and vigorously move toward the goal of building an Arab-Chinese community with a shared future.

The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

The author is the secretary-general of the Popular Struggle Front of Palestine and a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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