China’s VP visits Israel amid growing bilateral relations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, together with his wife Sarah, warmly welcomed Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, who arrived in Israel yesterday to take part in a China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation. Netanyahu hailed the visit by the Chinese leader as a great compliment to the Jewish state that signifies the growing relations between the two countries. In Netanyahu’s words, “The fact that the Vice President of Chin came to Israel … to my invitation for the Prime Minister’s innovation conference, is a tremendous compliment to Israel and a reflection of the growing ties between China and Israel.” The bilateral relations between Jerusalem and Beijing have been tightening for the past few years, with an annual increase of more than 73% of exports from Israel to China, while Chinese investments in Israeli tech companies nearly doubled between 2013 and 2017. An expert on China-Israel relations told TV7, “the fact that Vice President Qishan agreed to visit Israel, the highest-ranking Chinese official to do so, indicates Beijing’s growing interests in the Jewish state.”