China reacts strongly to Romney’s statement on Jerusalem
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China reacts strongly to Romney’s statement on Jerusalem

Beijing : China | Jul 31, 2012 at 2:07 AM PDT
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China has reacted strongly to Mitt Romney’s statement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, saying the U.S. Republican presidential candidates careless statement could deteriorate the already edgy situation in the Middle East or even trigger a new war between Israel and Palestine because the later also considers Jerusalem its holy capital.

According to latest observations by the Chinese government’s Xinhua News Agency, Mitt Romney’s “hawkish remarks” overlooked the sensitive nature of Jerusalem. The news agency further said that the Republican’s statement ignored Palestine’s claim over the city, which was occupied by Israel in a 1976 war. Moreover, the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, China asserted.

During his recent visit to Israel, Romney, who has earlier displeased Beijing by warning to take harsh actions against China in trade quarrels if the people of America vote him to the White House, declared Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state besides pledging to defend Israel in any situation. He also sent tougher signal to Tehran by promising to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Romney also indicated in his speech that he was ready to break with U.S. policy dating to 1967 by shifting the U.S Embassy to Jerusalem if the Israeli government wished so. The China Post criticized Romney’s indication of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

“My understanding is the policy of our nation has been a desire to move our embassy ultimately to the capital (Jerusalem),” Romney said, according to the China Post. “I would only want to do so and to select the timing in accordance with the government of Israel.”

Palestinian authorities retained diplomatic calmness during Romney's recent tour to the region, even as the presidential contender cuddled Israeli position and in a clear cold-shoulder, kept away from meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

It is pertinent to mention here that the United State is the principal negotiator in the hard diplomatic works — stalled since 2008 — to establish a Palestinian state via table talks with Israel. Therefore, Palestinian authorities do not want to irritate major players, including Romney.

“At the end of the day, the U.S. has interests in this region, it has embassies in 57 Arab and Muslim countries,” said Saeb Erekat, an Abbas aide, according to JTA. “I don't think they will sacrifice everything for such statements, mere disturbing statements that will strengthen extremists in the region.”

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 Former Governor Mitt Romney speaking at CPAC FL in Orlando, Florida.
China reacts strongly to Romney's statement on Jerusalem (image author: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)
Kamran Ahmed is based in Seattle, Washington, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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