China officially handed a sparkling new foreign ministry building to the Palestinian Authority on Friday in its capital city of Ramallah.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang had visited Israel and Ramallah from Wednesday to Friday, meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders, according to China’s CRI news agency.
But Yang was present Friday in Ramallah to present the new building to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki. And he added a gift at the end of the ceremony.
“We are proud of the relationship that has existed between China and Palestine over the years, and we’re also happy that China is also contributing in the building of the Palestinian institutions towards the statehood,” al-Maliki said.
“This is really a reflection of exactly how China would like to contribute and to be present in the future of the Palestinian people.”
Yang said the new building would be not only a landmark in Ramallah, but also a landmark in the friendship between China and the Ramallah government.
“China consistently supports the Palestinians in their pursuit of the righteous cause of recovering their legitimate national rights, Yang said.
“China also sincerely supports Palestine to enhance its economy, people’s livelihood and capacity building. China would like to continue with the assistance it can offer to help Palestine realize its economic independence and sustainable development as soon as possible.”
After the ceremony China granted the PA an additional grant, this for a sum of $4.7 million.
Abbas thanked Yang and noted the “historical friendship” with China, which he said “has always supported the Palestinian people to realize freedom and independence.
“We highly appreciate the support China offers to Palestine on political, diplomatic and investment aspects. The Palestinian government and people thank China for everything you have done for Palestine.”
The Israeli government has been working overtime to build strong relations with China, whose business leaders have slowly been investing more in major Israeli industries in the past several years. Most recently, Israel’s iconic Tnuva dairy producer was sold to the Chinese ‘Bright Food’ group.
Israel’s Ministry of Tourism has also devoted an entire subdivision to creating collateral materials for the Chinese tourism market as well.Hana Levi Julian