Chinese, Israeli diplomats mark 20 years of tie

January 12, 2012 18:16

Israel-China trade grew in the 20 years since the countries established diplomatic relations from $30 million in 1992 to some $10 billion in 2011, China's ambassador Gao Yanping said Thursday.

Gao's comments came at a video conference at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, together with Israel's embassy in Beijing, marking two decades of diplomatic relations. Ambassadors past and present from both countries took part in the conference and reminisced about the first years of the relationship, which they helped develop.

Israel's envoy to Beijing, Amos Nadai, said the speed with which the relationship expanded was "unparalleled." And Yang Fuchang, China's former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the only countries with which China has a higher volume of trade are those that produce oil.

Gao said that while the Israeli-Sino relationship has had its "ups and downs," and that the two countries have "different views on certain issues," these problems have been dealt with in a way that kept the "long-term perspective" in mind. That perspective, she said, was the tremendous potential to be had in coupling China's massive market and abundant resources with Israel's technology and innovation.

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