Over the past year, Israeli political and military leaders have made a deliberate effort to explore the vast potential of expanding diplomatic, security and trade ties with Asian nations. Israel already enjoys good relations with a number of the democracies and economic “tigers” of the East, including close cooperation with India on defense and technology exchanges, so the biggest push is being made toward China.

In the latest sign of this Sino courtship, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz paid a historic visit to Beijing in May for high-level talks with the Chinese defense establishment. Gantz was the guest of Gen. Chen Bingde, the top commander of the People’s Liberation Army, who visited Israel last August. It was the first time ever that a Chinese military chief had visited the country.

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