Netanyahu sees expansion of ties with China

January 24, 2012 22:38

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he envisaged a dramatic expansion of Israel's diplomatic ties with China, including a possible role for Beijing in Middle East diplomacy.

Speaking in Tel Aviv at a celebration marking 20 years since the two nations forged relations, Netanyahu said: "I think we've barely scratched the surface of Israeli-Chinese relations. I have no doubt that in the coming years we'll see a dramatic expansion of these ties.

Israeli government figures estimate bilateral trade as having totaled some $8 billion in 2011, up from $6.7 billion in 2010.

Netanyahu also saw Beijing as playing a role in European and US-mediated diplomacy between Israel and the Palestinians.

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