Jerusalem – Chinese VP Kicks Off Visit To Israel, Visits Western Wall
Jerusalem – China’s vice president on Monday kicked off a trip to Israel that illustrated the warming ties between the two countries.
Wang Qishan is in the region for a three-day trip. The highlight will be co-hosting a joint summit of innovation cooperation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will also head to the West Bank to visit the Palestinians.
Wang, a confidant of President Xi Jinping, is one of the most senior Chinese officials to visit Israel since the countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. In 2000, China’s then president, Jiang Zemin, became the first-ever Chinese president to visit.
Netanyahu called the visit a “tremendous compliment” to Israel.
The Old City is in East Jerusalem, which Beijing does not recognize as Israeli territory.
Israel and China have become close trade partners, with China showing interest in Israeli developments in agriculture, water and other environmental technologies. Israel has also become a popular destination for Chinese tourists.