Netanyahu Calls Meeting With Chinese Vice President 'A Sign of Our Growing Friendship'

‘The most important visit by a Chinese leader in 18 years,’ Netanyahu gushed before meeting the Chinese leader, in advance of bilateral confab on innovation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, meeting at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, October 22, 2018.
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan met Monday in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said, “The fact that the vice president of China came to Israel at my invitation for the Prime Minister’s Innovation Conference is a tremendous compliment to Israel."

Netanyahu added that the arrival of the Chinese leader and his entourage "is a reflection of the growing ties between China and Israel. And I look forward to our discussions."

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Earlier he had tweeted: “This is the most important visit by a Chinese leader in the last 18 years. It's a sign of our growing friendship."

Before the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Residence on Monday, Wang visited the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Accompanying Wang on his trip are Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng, Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming, Chinese Ambassador to Israel Zhan Yongxin and other senior officials.

Netanyahu and Wang will jointly chair the fourth meeting of the Israel-China Innovation Conference, which will be held at the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Eight joint agreements are scheduled to be signed at the conference in the realms of science and technology, life sciences, innovation, digital health and agriculture. The two leaders will also dedicate the Israeli Innovation Center at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa.

In 2017, Netanyahu met Xi Jinping, the Chinese president and the general secretary of the Communist Party, in Beijing. With respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Xi said at the time that coexistence would be beneficial for both sides.

“A peaceful, stable, developing Middle East accords with the common interests of all, including China and Israel,” Xi told Netanyahu.