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)

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China and Israel on Wednesday vowed to join their respective advantages in markets and technology to create a bright future, as leaders of the two nations had their first meeting since the two new governments took office in March.

China, Israel boost cooperation

Premier Li Keqiang greets visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday. Photo by Xu Jingxing / China Daily

Premier Li Keqiang told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "the new Chinese government attaches great importance to developing relations with Israel", according to a news release issued by the Foreign Ministry.

This is the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to China since then-prime minister Ehud Olmert's trip in 2007.

The two leaders decided that the two governments will set up a special workgroup to study bilateral economic and social cooperation and come up with a plan as soon as possible.

During the meeting, Li suggested both sides expand trade and investment and raise the level and added value of their trade.

He also advised the two nations to combine Israel's high-tech advantage with China's huge market, and he welcomed Israeli investment in cutting-edge technology.

Besides, China would like to learn from Israeli expertise in agriculture and will encourage capable Chinese companies to participate in Israeli construction projects, Li said.

Netanyahu told Li that peoples of the two nations have long held a great affection toward each other. Israel wants to join hands with China to build a bright future, he said.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu and his wife toured Shanghai's Ohel Moshe synagogue, which was home to many of the 18,000 Jews granted refuge in Shanghai from the horrors of Nazi persecution.

Netanyahu said his country will forever appreciate Shanghai's assistance to the Jewish people during World War II.

After the Wednesday meeting, Li and Netanyahu witnessed the signing of cooperation documents on agriculture, technology, financing and education.

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