Hundreds of Chinese Businessmen and politicians have flooded into Israel for a number of conferences being held this week.
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After meeting with the Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong on Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement announcing a new agreement between the two countries to cooperate during emergencies and to work together on innovations.
In the statement, Netanyahu said, “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. We celebrate the success and huge growth of cooperation and connections between Israel and China”
The announcement comes at the same time that Israel’s Tel Aviv University launched its new $300 million Xin Center, operated in cooperation with Beijing’s Tsinghua University. The center, to be divided between the two schools, will be dedicated to scientific innovation and education.
More than 300 Chinese businessmen are currently taking part in the Israel Innovation Conference in Tel Aviv. Vice Premiere Liu is expected to speak there today. The Chinese delegation is led by its Vice Premiere and includes other prominent Chinese politicians, such as the Chinese Ministers of Science, Education and Health and a Vice Foreign Minister.
In an open letter published over the weekend in the Jerusalem Post, Liu Yandong praised Israel’s record success in high tech innovations. He said that he was looking forward to his visit in the “beautiful country of Israel” and that he would be discussing ways to “deepen mutually beneficial cooperation on innovation in a joint effort for the blossoming of innovation cooperation between the two countries, ” with Israelis.
Israel, he said, has strong innovation skills in modern agriculture, clean energy, bio-technology, medical equipment and water-efficiency, Whereas China has great manufacturing capabilities, it lags behind Israel in original technologies. As a result, the two countries, according to Yandong, both have a lot to be gained from continued cooperation.
The Chinese Vice Premiere also wrote about the long history that there has been between the Jewish and Chinese Peoples. More than a thousand years ago, Jews first arrived in China where they lived in harmony.
Jews and Chinese, he pointed out, both suffered greatly during World War II. Yandong also praised the Jewish Nation for its innovation and ingenuity. Israel, he says, leads the world in science and technology innovation and in high tech research and development.
The Israel China Interflow Association and the Knesset Hi-Tech Caucus will host an Israel-China Economic Summit at the Knesset on Tuesday and Wednesday. Dozens of officials from the two countries are expected to attend.
Incorporated in Hong Kong in June 2011, the Association was established to enhance mutual understanding and friendly cooperation between the people of China and the people of Israel and to promote common development, trade and investments.
There will also be two forums this week, one at IBM’s Petah Tikva office and the other at Tel Aviv’s Hilton hotel organized by the investment firm Upround Ventures. .
Over 2, 000 Chinese students have either studied or received some form of training in Israel over the years.
Israel has sent more than 2, 000 experts to volunteer in China and the Chinese Mandarin dialect is the send most studied language in Israeli universities, after English.