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Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi / fmprc.gov.cn
Chinese foreign minister calls for independent Palestinian state
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki was in Beijing on April 13, where he met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. They held a joint press briefing in which Wang noted that this year is the 70th anniversary of the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the resolution on the partition of Palestine and Israel, which gives Israel and Palestine the right to establish their own country, but that Palestine has not yet been able to establish an independent, sovereign state. He said that this is “unfair,” and that “this kind of historical injustice must be corrected and should not go on.” The Chinese foreign ministry has a readout of the press conference (in Chinese); Reuters has a short report on Al-Maliki’s visit.
The meeting comes just a few weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to China with a huge business delegation, and met with President Xi Jinping, signing a number of deals in the aviation, education, science, health, and environmental sectors, as well as an accord that will allow “thousands of Chinese workers to come to Israel to work in the building industry.” Despite its historical support of many Middle Eastern governments and causes, China has had a highly cordial relationship with Israel since the opening of diplomatic ties in 1992.
Nuclear power for China’s third aircraft carrier?
In February, state media announced that China was close to completing its second aircraft carrier, and the first such vessel to be domestically built from scratch. The Liaoning, China’s first carrier put into use by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), was completed using the shell of a ship partly built in Ukraine by the Soviet Union. The country’s second carrier, so far named 001A, is scheduled to begin sea trials in 2019, and is, according to the Global Times, “China-built,” and will feature “much more advanced…design, combat capability and technologies.” The article also quotes another expert who says that “to protect China’s territories and overseas interests” the country will need “two carrier strike groups in the West Pacific Ocean and two in the Indian Ocean,” or at least “five to six aircraft carriers.”
Today’s People’s Daily carries an article (in Chinese) on the development of China’s third aircraft carrier which will also be wholly domestically built. The piece quotes Xu Guangyu 徐光裕, a retired PLA major general involved in the rebuilding of the Liaoning, who says that the third carrier will be developed by “taking a lot of little steps at a fast pace” and that it may be nuclear powered. He also says that aircraft taking off from the new ship may do so using electromagnetic technology, whereas the Liaoning and 001A carriers use the “ski-jump” method, taking off from a ramp on the front of the carrier.