The Palestine Institute for National Security Research (PINSR) on Sunday organised a symposium on the role of China in the Middle East.

The Symposium, in Palestine’s West Bank city of Ramallah, highlighted the growing role of China in the Middle East in light of its policy for the region and Chinese Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), organisers said.

Addressing the audience, Guo Wei, Director of the Office of the People’s Republic of China to the State of Palestine, said that Chinese President Xi Jinping has a vision for the region and his four-point proposal to help solve the Palestinian-Israeli issue was met with great enthusiasm by leaders in the region.

The Proposal was put forward by the Chinese leader in a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during the latter’s visit to Beijing in July 2017.

In the proposal, President Xi reiterated China’s firm support to a political settlement of the Palestinian issue on the basis of the two-state solution, and the establishment of an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Chinese leader also highlighted the importance of enhancing international coordination to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine, while calling for supporting Palestine’s economic development within the framework of the BRI.

“Our goal is … to create harmony in the world, where we seek just and lasting peace in the region as a whole and in Palestine, in particular,” he explained.

On the relations between Palestine and China, Abbas Zaki, head of Fatah party’s Commissioner General of the Arab and Chinese Affairs, said the historic relationship between Fatah party and China is unwavering, particularly under the development of the BRI.

“We trust that China will never put interests over principles,” he said. “We believe the BRI will connect the world with collective and lasting development and allow a win-win situation and peace to prevail.”

The symposium explored China’s political and economic roles in the region, allowing the audience, who were mostly students of Chinese language and executive personnel in the Palestinian Authority who have received various training’s in China, to understand the Chinese perspective toward the region.

Islam Ayadi, Political Science Assistant Professor at the Arab American University in Palestine and also researcher on the Chinese affairs, said that the role China is playing in the region is crucial and strategic for the long term.

The BRI was proposed by China in 2013. It refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aims at building trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond.

The PINSR is considered a young think tank that conducts policy researches and provides advice to Palestinian decision makers.