Netanyahu in China.
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon, GPO)
BEIJING- Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu began the substantive part of his five-day china visit on Wednesday with a colorful red carpet welcome ceremony in the shadow of Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Netanyahu stood at rapt attention as cannon-fire punctuated the tune of Hatikvah and China's national anthem, echoeing off the buildings and through Tiananmen Square.
Netanyahu surveyed the blue, white and grey uniforms of the Chinese soldiers who let out a shout as they marched out of the massive plaza where the 15-minute ceremony took place.
Immediately after ceremony, Netanyahu and Li began to talk with their delegations in a massive ornate room inside Beijing's iconic hall.
Li welcomed Netanyahu and said he was looking forward to talking, not only about bilateral cooperation and relations but also about "regional issues such as the question of Palestine and the Middle East peace process."
On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping presented a four-point peace plan proposal
to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was also visiting Beijing. The proposal called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, peaceful coexistence with Israel, and touched on other pressing issues.
Netanyahu repeated what he has been saying for the last two days, that Israel "admires china" and feels "a connection" to the Chinese civilization and people.
He added that both are ancient peoples with a "glorious past, a difficult in-between period, and soaring into the future."
He also said that Israel could be the "perfect junior partner for China in its perduit of economic excellence and competitive advantage by offering our technical capabilities."