RAMALLAH, Nabil Shaath, senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Thursday that the strengthening of the China-Palestine ties will help boost the political and economic development of Palestine.

Shaath, Abbas’ foreign affairs advisor, made the comments during an interview with Xinhua.

He hailed the just-concluded visit to Palestine by Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan as part of “a historic relationship” between the two countries reflected in China’s political and material support to the Palestinians on all levels.

On Tuesday, Wang held talks with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah, to discuss deepening cooperation in varied fields such as trade, infrastructure building, clean energy and personnel training.

Shaath lauded China as “an ally that believes in justice and peace.”

“The visit of Mr. Wang Qishan was an important step in a process that has been going on for some time. China has been a close friend and ally to the Palestinians for a very long time,” Shaath said.

“China has been a supporter of the Palestinian people, their right of self determination, their right to an independent Palestinian state, and China has always voted with us with all the UN resolutions that support the implementation of international law,” he said.

Shaath reiterated that the Palestinians now regard the U.S. involvement in the Middle East as hostile after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy to the city.

In addition, the U.S. shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) representative office in Washington, and cut off funding to the only UN organization offering services to Palestinian refugees, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, he added.

“Palestinians have rejected totally and irrevocably the domination by America of the peace process in the Middle East,” Shaath said.

The alternative to the American domination should be “an international alliance” based on international law and the UN Charter, and includes new important economic and political leaders in the world, including China, he said.

Commending the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China, Shaath confirmed that Palestinian private and public sectors have begun studying mechanisms to create an encouraging atmosphere for joint projects and the implementation of the initiative in Palestine.

“We have already worked with our private enterprises as well as public enterprises in order to create the mechanisms for working jointly with Chinese institutions in creating an economic alliance under the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.

“I attended all of those meetings and I can really tell you that we are committed and extremely motivated by our past bilateral relationship to give all the support to the Belt and Road Initiative activities in Palestine,” the senior Palestinian official noted.

With regard to the types of Chinese projects and ideas that would be beneficial for the Palestinian people, Shaath said the solar energy projects to generate electricity and water may be very adaptable, especially in Gaza.

“If we could really revive the Gaza industrial zone and other industrial zones which are growing, like the one in Jericho, we can also motivate other types of industry and other types of joint trade and economic projects,” Shaath said.

“I think it (China) definitely will play an important role for the economic development of Palestine,” he added.