|Foreign Ministry Dir-Gen Liel Meets New Chinese Envoy|
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
Israel Foreign Ministry Director-General Dr. Alon Liel met for the first time yesterday (January 2) with the new Ambassador of China to Israel, Mr. Pan Zhalin.
The Director-General congratulated the Ambassador upon the assumption of his duties, at this time of historic decisions in the Middle East, and briefed his guest on the latest developments in the peace process. He requested that the Ambassador convey to the Chinese government a message of the Israeli government’s determined efforts to pursue all avenues to bring about a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Liel stated that if the Palestinians reject the American proposals (and the Israeli readiness to proceed) the responsibility for this missed historic opportunity would fall solely upon Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Ambassador Pan expressed his hope that the positive relations between the two states and peoples will continue to develop in all spheres.
Diplomatic relations between Israel and China were established in January 1992, and since that time have advanced in many fields. Trade between the two countries in the past year totaled about $600 million.
Israel has been very active in the fields of agriculture and the development of arid zones in China – an area of high priority on the Chinese leadership’s agenda. The scope of activities carried out in China by the Israel Foreign Ministry’s Center for International Development (MASHAV) is more extensive than those of any other country in world. Israel established a modern dairy facility and an agricultural research farm in China, employing advanced Israeli technological know-how. In addition, MASHAV conducts many training courses in China, particularly in these fields.