Netanyahu to visit China, 1st PM visit in 6 years

Prime Minister set to strengthen Israeli-Sino ties, discuss Iran, Syria during trip to China next week.

April 29, 2013 02:32
1 minute read.
A Chinese flag in Beijing

china flag 311. (photo credit: Jason Lee / Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday he will travel to China next Sunday, in the first prime ministerial trip there since Ehud Olmert visited in 2007.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet the top Chinese leadership during a five-day trip that will take him to Shanghai, the country’s commercial capital, and Beijing.

While diplomatic issues such as Iran and Syria will undoubtedly come up in the talks, the focus – according to diplomatic officials – will be on bilateral and economic issues.

Israel and China, which only established diplomatic ties in 1992, do some $10 billion worth of trade a year, a sum that Israeli officials believe can be significantly increased.

Netanyahu has consistently placed an emphasis on strengthening the relationship with Beijing, and during a cabinet meeting last year where he called on his ministers to curb their travel abroad because of the economic situation, said that the one exception was China, where he urged the ministers to visit as much as possible to cement the relationship.

In Netanyahu’s view, one official said, Israel’s hi-tech capabilities and innovation, and China’s production capacity, was a “winning combination.”

Last year, in a speech on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties, Netanyahu said the two countries had “barely scratched the surface” of the potential of Israeli-Sino ties. During that speech he talked of a “doubling of trade.”

One of the economic issues on the agenda will be plans to build a railroad from Ashdod Port to Eilat, which could serve both as way for the Chinese to ship goods to Europe without having to go through the Suez Canal, and as a possible conduit for Israeli natural gas to China.

Regarding Iran, one official would not respond when asked whether the prime minister would present the Chinese with any new intelligence information.

“He will be talking about the dangers of Iran proceeding on its current course,” the official said, and how a nuclear Iran would lead to an increase in regional instability, something that would harm countries – such as China – that were dependent on the region for oil.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN