Reuters/SCMP published this incredibly strange photo of Xi Jinping greeting Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing.
China must feel like the prettiest girl at the Middle East Peace Process Prom. Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Beijing on Sunday for an official state visit, while his Israeli counterpart, Binyamin Netanyahu is in Shanghai ahead of his audience with the emperor later this week.
According to the AFP:
Abbas said he planned to update Chinese leaders about obstacles to Israeli-Palestinian talks and ask them to “use its relationship with Israel to remove the obstacles that obstruct the Palestinian economy”.
Of his overlapping visit with the Netanyahu, he said: “It is a good opportunity for the Chinese to listen to the both of us.”
Netanyahu is expected to reiterate his concerns over Iranian nuclear plans, since China has such a good record when it comes to rogue governments and atomic bombs.
According to foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, Beijing’s invitation of both leaders to the country in the same week is basically fixing the Middle East. “[China] supports the Palestinian and Israeli sides in resolving their differences and disputes through peace talks,” Hua said last week. “China’s reception of the Palestinian and Israeli leaders for visits is also a part of these efforts.”
In Shanghai, Netanyahu side-stepped questions about Israeli air strikes against Syria. He also made a startlingly tasteless joke:
In China, Israeli PM Netanyahu jokingly compares Great Wall to the one Israel has built in the occupied West Bank: jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-…
— Mark MacKinnon/马凯 (@markmackinnon) May 6, 2013