Xi pledges additional aid for Gaza, seeks stronger ties with Arab nations

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged an additional 500 million yuan, or about 69 million dollars, in aid for Gaza at a ministerial meeting with Arab nations.

The provision is seen as a bid to increase China's influence in the Middle East as the United States takes a pro-Israeli stance.

Xi spoke on Thursday at the senior officials' meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan were among the participants.

Xi told the gathering that China will work with Arab countries to make their relations a model for maintaining world peace and stability. He indicated Beijing wants to strengthen cooperation in areas such as artificial intelligence, energy and trade.

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Xi said "war should not continue indefinitely" and "commitment to the two-state solution should not be wavered at will."

He reaffirmed China's support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Xi pledged the additional assistance to help ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and support post-conflict reconstruction.