(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan landed in Israel today, officially making him the highest ranking Chinese official to visit Israel in the past two decades, before this, the most recent official of his stature to visit the country was then-president Jiang Zemin in 2000.
The VP is scheduled to be in Israel from the 22-25th of this month to take part in the fourth joint Israeli-Chinese Innovation Conference. Wang was recently appointed as head of the China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation. The committee and conference was designed to encourage and advocate cooperation between the two countries. The innovation conference preceeding this one was help in Beijing in 2017 with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance.
Wang’s visit comes as Israeli-Chinese trade reached nearly $10 billion in 2017, more than double what it was only a decade earlier. Trade through July of this year was nearly $1.5 billion more than during a similar period in 2017.
China has also invested heavily in Israeli infrastructure projects, including the expansion of Haifa and Ashdod ports, the construction of the Carmel tunnels in Haifa, and the building of the Tel Aviv light rail.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
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