By CGTN’s Stephanie Freid
Israel and China are looking to reinforce trade ties, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits China. He arrived in Beijing on Sunday for his second official visit to the country. Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders will be meeting Netanyahu over the course of his stay, as well as the largest Israeli-business delegation to ever visit China.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu arrive in Beijing, China on Sunday. /Photo by Israeli Embassy in China
“I’m embarking on an official visit to China by invitation of China's government. I will meet with the president, the premier, and we will mark 25 years of relations between Israel and the great power,” said Netanyahu ahead of his trip.
Trade and commerce loom large during this visit. 90 business people are accompanying Netanyahu. They will be meeting heads of China’s biggest corporations, including multi-billion dollar Internet giant Baidu.
Aside from bilateral trade agreements, business and politics, Israel’s prime minister is also visiting China to maintain and grow what could prove to be a very important relationship.
During meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Netanyahu will undoubtedly touch on Middle Eastern politics, specifically regarding Iran and Syria.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu receive flowers upon arrival in Beijing on Sunday. /Photo by Israeli Embassy in China
As China’s political and economic strength grows, Israel’s government wants to demonstrate – in person – its interest in maintaining warm ties.
“This is also an opportunity for the prime minister to, again, make it clear that Israel wants to cooperate with China, and that Israel wants investment with China,” said Ilan Maor of the Israel-China Chamber of Commerce. “This is very important that they hear it loud and clear from the person that’s holding the top position in Israel.”
Israel and China will also be signing economic agreements during the visit, with Israel’s government anticipating a Free Trade Agreement with China in July.