Chinese VP Wang Makes Stop in Ramallah

YERUSHALAYIM -
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah review the honor guard during a reception ceremony in Ramallah on Tuesday. (Abbas Momani/Pool via Reuters)

On the second day of his trip to the region, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan went to the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah, where his hosts urged China to take a more active role in Mideast peacemaking.

During a meeting with PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and senior PLO and Fatah officials, Wang was also asked to support the Palestinian proposal for an international peace conference, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The Palestinians are reportedly hoping that China will use its permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council to push the Palestinian agenda. China has thus far been a steady supporter of the two-state solution. In December 2016, China was one of 14 UNSC countries to support resolution 2334 condemning Israeli “occupation” of the Kosel. However, to date it has not involved itself directly in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, as the U.S. and European Union have.

Wang also participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of Palestinian arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.

Israel has maintained a diplomatic silence on the Chinese leader’s visit to Ramallah.

Later on Tuesday, Qishan met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

“The relations between China and Israel are excellent, based on mutual respect, a shared past and a promising future,” Rivlin said. Regarding the past, he cited a Jewish community in China as early as the 10th century C.E.

Qishan thanked Rivlin by saying, “The relations between the two countries are based on a long shared history, as you mentioned, and also on partnership in innovation. Israel does not have large natural resources, but the miracle of development rests on the tremendous human capital of this nation. Human beings are the most precious asset.”

Wang is slated to jointly host an innovation conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.