Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently made it a priority to strengthen Israel’s relationship with China, beginning with a visit there last year. A joint center for research and innovation will enhance those ties.
Tel Aviv University and the elite Tsinghua University in China recently announced the establishment of XIN, an unprecedented $300-million joint center for innovative research and education.
“China is Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia and fast becoming perhaps Israel’s largest trading partner period as we move into the future,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated at a press conference.
Madam Liu Yandong, vice-premier of the People’s Republic of China, is in Israel to sign an agreement that will expand cooperation between China and Israel in the fields of technology, innovation and science.
Both China and Israel Bring Innovation: Netanyahu
“We see the great success of China. We admire China and we think there are complementary things that Israel brings to this relationship,” Netanyahu stated. “One of them is innovation.”
“What we’re going to sign today is an agreement for expanding innovation in cooperative efforts between our two countries, and equally our health minister will sign an agreement to help advance our cooperation in times of emergencies,” the Israeli leader said. “This is one of many, many things that we’re doing together, and I think the possibilities are limitless. There’s a natural affinity and friendship between the ancient people of China and the ancient people of Israel. We are both rooted in great traditions, but we also are absolutely determined to seize the future, and I welcome you in that spirit to Jerusalem and in the hopes of seizing the future together.”
“I am here to learn from the best practices of Israel in science, technology and innovation,” Vice-Premier Yandong responded. “And this is also a trip of promoting cooperation. It is truly our hope that we will be able to bring our cooperation in all fields to new heights, and certainly it is indeed a trip of friendship and I am here to enhance the friendship between our peoples.”
China and Israel ‘Rooted in a Tradition of Friendship’
“As you rightly pointed out, Mr. Prime Minister, our two peoples are rooted in a tradition of friendship,” she added. “The Jewish and the Chinese peoples are peoples of great wisdom. We bracket Asia and we respectively created our splendid cultures that stretch thousands of years of history. And we both made enormous contributions to human civilization. Yesterday afternoon I visited the Israel Museum and also the Old City of Jerusalem and I was so amazed at the beauty of this country.”
“Especially during the Second World War, we fought shoulder to shoulder against the world’s fascism and we stood together through the dark time,” the Chinese vice-premier continued, adding a personal story.
“I spent 18 years in Shanghai. Actually, everywhere in Shanghai people tell the good stories of harmonious coexistence between the Chinese people and Jewish people. I want to mention in particular here that in 1942, a Jewish doctor by the name of Jacob Rosenfeld came to a place in Shanghai where my father fought against the Japanese aggressors. And Dr. Rosenfeld and his team members saved the lives of thousands of Chinese people.
“This is a group photo of Dr. Rosenfeld and this is my father here, and one of the founding generals of China, General Xin Yi, named Dr. Rosenfeld as one of the heroes against Japanese aggression,” Yandong continued. “Unfortunately in 1952, when Dr. Rosenfeld visited Israel, he passed away. So when my father was around, he vowed to visit Israel and to see the hometown of Dr. Rosenfeld to express his appreciation, and his dream was realized by his daughter.”
The signing ceremony between China and Israel will take place on Tuesday in the presence of prominent dignitaries representing both countries.
Written by: United with Israel Staff