China and Palestine agreed to start talks to "soon" reach a free trade agreement with which to strengthen their economic and trade cooperation, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce reported today.
The agreement is part of a memorandum of understanding reached during the visit of Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming to Palestine, where they met with several Palestinian leaders on Tuesday.
"Both parties believe that the signing of the free trade agreement will further strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations, and will bring more benefits to companies and to the people of both countries," the statement added.
In 2017, bilateral trade relations reached 69.28 million dollars (some 60 million euros), 16.2% more than the previous year, according to the Chinese ministry.
In recent years, China is trying to play a more active role in the Middle East, region from which it feeds on oil and vitally important for the ambitious infrastructure plan promoted by its president, Xi Jinping, under the name of " New Silk Road ".
The Chinese Government has always positioned itself publicly on the side of Palestine and has shown its support for the peace process in the Middle East and a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the two-State solution on the 1967 borders and with Jerusalem Eastern as Palestinian capital.