Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in China for a three-day official visit where he is receiving support for an independent Palestine.

China's President Xi Jinping (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attend a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 18, 2017.
China's President Xi Jinping (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attend a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 18, 2017.

China will make "unremitting" efforts towards promoting peace in the Middle East, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday, following a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Chinese envoys occasionally visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories, though China has traditionally played a small role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy despite its reliance on the region for oil.

"As the Palestinian people's good friend, partner and brother, China hopes Palestine and Israel can achieve peace as soon as possible and live and work in peace. China will make unremitting efforts for this," Xi said, after receiving a Palestinian medal of honour from Abbas who is on an official China visit.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, presents a medallion to Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 18, 2017. (Reuters)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, presents a medallion to Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 18, 2017. (Reuters)

Deputy Chinese Foreign Minister Zhang Ming later said Xi reiterated support for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

He also called for the security of both the Palestinians and Israelis to be protected.

It is important to advance a political settlement on the basis of the two state solution, Zhang added, paraphrasing Xi.

Diplomats say that China is trying to play the role of "honest broker" in the Middle East, as it lacks the historical baggage of the Americans or the Europeans.

Xi told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March that peaceful coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians would be good for both parties and the region.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies