China's Wang expresses support for Palestinians

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has expressed support for Palestinians during a meeting in Beijing with officials from the Arab and Islamic world, including Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

Attendees at Monday's meeting with Wang also included Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

Wang kicked off the meeting by expressing his support for Palestinians in the conflict in the Gaza Strip. He said China has been working hard to de-escalate the conflict and prevent humanitarian disasters, as well as to settle the Palestinian issue.

Wang also said the way out is to "implement the two-state solution and establish an independent Palestinian state," according to China's foreign ministry. He called for an "early convening of an international peace conference."

The Chinese foreign ministry said the Arab and Islamic delegates spoke highly of China's long-standing position on the Palestinian issue. They said they will seek closer coordination with China to achieve enduring peace and stability in the Middle East.

China's stated support for Palestinians appears to be an attempt by Beijing to increase its presence in the Middle East, as the United States sides with Israel in the conflict.