After the victory of the Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the People's Republic of China was proclaimed under Mao Zedong. The PRC recognized the Jewish State of Israel, but during the 1950s and 1960s, the PRC began to support the Arabs and Palestinians.
During the 1960s the PRC had strongly supported the destruction of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Arab State. The PRC strongly supported Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). China had also established close relations with the Fatah party as well. The Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong supported Palestinian militant groups such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as well as the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). After the PRC was admitted to the United Nations as a member in 1971, it continued to support the Palestinian cause. An embassy of the PLO was opened in Beijing during the summer of 1974.
After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 a new Chinese Communist Party leadership came to power. Deng Xiaoping reduced support for Palestinian militant groups. The PRC cut off support for Palestinian militant groups and it supported the Camp David Accords in 1978.
The PRC still supported the Palestinians and it strongly supported the November 15, 1988, Palestinian Declaration of Independence by Yasser Arafat in Algiers, Algeria despite the objections by both Israel and the United States. The PRCrecognised the new State of Palestine on 20 November 1988 and had established full diplomatic relations with it by the end of 1989.
The PRC has continued to support the Palestinian cause albeit in a more limited fashion . Under Deng's successors, the PRC has continued its relations with both Israel and the Arab States. Under Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, the PRC has supported the Middle East peace process and the Oslo agreements in principle. Both Yasser Arafat and his successor Mahmoud Abbas have visited the PRC on several occasions.
Present day relations as of 2006 continue to remain strong. After the victory of Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that favors the restoration of historical Palestine in the 2006 Palestinian elections, the PRC refused to call the group a terrorist organization and called them elected representatives of the Palestinian People. This statement was clarified by the PRC Foreign Ministry in January 2006. The PRC invited the Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar to attend the China-Arab Cooperation Forum in June 2006 ignoring protests by both the United States and Israel but received praise from Abu Mazen. After the 2008-2009 Gaza War, PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang urged both parties to solve disputes through dialogue and denounces the use of military force in solving conflicts. After the May 31, 2010 Gaza flotilla raid the PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu strongly condemned Israel and urged Israel to seriously implement the UN Security Council resolutions and to improve the situation in the Gaza Strip by lifting the blockade.
During the November 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China told reporters in a news conference that China expressed "concern" to the clashes and urge all sides, particularly Israel, to display restraint and avoid civilian casualties. On November 29, 2012, China voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 67/19 Palestine to non-member observer state status in the United Nations. During the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei (politician) on 9 July 2014 in response to the violence said: "We believe that to resort to force and to counter violence with violence will not help resolve problems other than pile up more hatred. We urge relevant parties to bear in mind the broader picture of peace and the lives of the people, immediately realize a ceasefire, stick to the strategic choice of peace talks and strive for an early resumption of talks."
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379 (November 10, 1975)
- China's Palestine Policy
- UN Security Council calls for immediate halt to Gaza violence
- PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman
- "外交部:中方严重关切以色列对加沙发动军事行动". China Daily. China. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- UN General Assembly Resolution 67/19
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on July 9, 2014