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Abbas expected to visit China in July

July 12, 2017 9:55 P.M. (Updated: July 12, 2017 9:56 P.M.)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to visit China from July 17-20 on invitation from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, according to a statement released by the Chinese government on Wednesday.

Lu Kang, the spokesperson for the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs, said that Abbas’ upcoming trip would be his fourth visit to China.

Abbas is expected to meet with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, the Premier of the state’s council Li Keqiang, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang.

Kang noted that Abbas and Chinese leaders are expected to discuss the countries’ bilateral relations, the Palestinian cause, and other common interests.

Kang stated that China and Palestine had been maintaining “friendly relations” for some time, and that 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.

Confirming China’s willingness to collaborate with Palestinians to strengthen relations, Kang said that China “supports the fair cause of the Palestinian struggle for their rights,” and stressed that China was determined to take a constructive role in reinforcing the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis.

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.
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