Livni to press China on Iran sanctions

Foreign minister to plead Israel's case to ranking Chinese Communist Party members, think tanks.

livni 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
livni 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will take Israel's case for stiffer sanctions against Iran to the Chinese public on Monday, delivering a lecture at a Beijing university that will be broadcast in the Chinese media and answering questions live on one of China's largest Internet sites. She is also scheduled to plead Israel's case in a meeting with ranking Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Liu Qi, and at a meeting with leading Chinese Middle East thinkers and analysts. On Tuesday, in addition to meeting Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Livni is scheduled to sign a document designating Israel an "approved destination" for Chinese tourists, and paving the way for a huge increase in tourism from China. Group tourism packages from China are only possible to countries that have this designation, and Israel has been working on such an agreement with the Asian country for approximately two years. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it saw expanding tourism between the two countries as an "important factor in developing" strong ties between the two countries. According to figures provided by the Foreign Ministry, some 31 million Chinese tourists traveled abroad in 2005, and the expectation is that this number will increase to 100 million by the year 2020.