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China Daily Website

China, Israel boost cooperation

Updated: 2013-05-09 02:20
By Li Xiaokun and Cheng Guangjin in Beijing and Chen Weihua in Washington ( China Daily)

China, Israel boost cooperation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu witnesses the signing of cooperation documents on agriculture, technology, financing and education in Beijing on Wednesday. Xu Jingxing / China Daily

Li Shaoxian, an expert of Middle East studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the large business delegation accompanying Netanyahu for the visit and his first stop at China's commercial hub, Shanghai, demonstrates his expectations on the two countries' future economic cooperation.

Netanyahu is leading a large delegation, including a group of senior officials on economic affairs and entrepreneurs. He had said that one of his priorities will be pushing forward exports to China.

China is Israel's top trading partner in Asia, and the third worldwide, with bilateral trade in 2012 reaching nearly $10 billion.

Israeli figures show that in 2012, its exports to the United States and Europe shrank 6 percent and 7 percent respectively compared with 2011 because of the global economic turmoil. However, Israel's exports to Asia surged 5 percent.

Israel, on the other side, is an important source of high technology for China.

Netanyahu said during his stay in Shanghai that once the high-tech and creativity of Israel find its match in China's strong producing power and wide access to the global market, it will be the best combination.

Netanyahu arrived in Beijing from Shanghai on Wednesday, just one day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas left Beijing.

The two leaders did not meet in their rare, nearly simultaneous visits to China, though Beijing said it would be willing to help arrange a meeting if requested.

Li told Netanyahu on Wednesday that the Palestine issue is the core of peace and stability in the Middle East, while peaceful settlement through negotiations is the only effective way.

China expects the two sides to create conditions to revive the peace talks and seek tangible progress, he said.

"China, as a friend of both Palestine and Israel, has all along held an objective and fair stance. We would like to make efforts with all parties to actively push forward the Middle East peace process", Li said.

Netanyahu said his country appreciates China's constructive role in the Middle East peace process.


Suggestions that Premier Li Keqiang raised to promote tangible cooperation between China and Israel:

• Expand two-way trade and investment and raise the level and added value of the trade.

• Deepen technology cooperation. Join the two nations' advantages in technology and markets through methods including building industrial parks and technique transfer centers together.

• Boost agricultural cooperation. China would like to learn Israeli expertise in agriculture and carry out cooperation in water-saving dry farming.

• Explore charted projects and labor cooperation. China will encourage capable Chinese companies to participate in Israeli construction projects.

China Daily

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