Tang Jiaxuan, State Councilor of The People’s Republic of China, arrived for an official visit to Israel, the first visit by a senior Chinese official in several years.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Mr. Tang Jiaxuan, State Councilor of The People’s Republic of China, arrived on Sunday, 26 December, for an official visit to Israel, as the guest of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom.

Tang’s visit comes after several years in which there were no visits to Israel by senior Chinese officials. This visit, coming after Minister Shalom’s visit to China last month, signals a further warming of relations between the two states.

During his visit, the guest will meet with the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Industry and Trade, the Minister of Tourism, and MK Shimon Peres.  Tang and his hosts will discuss Israeli-Chinese relations and regional developments.

Cooperation between Israel and China, especially economic, is constantly on the rise. The number of Israel companies operating in China has grown steadily, as well as the number of joint ventures. In the last two years, China has become Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia; annual trade between the two states is expected this year to exceed $2 billion, an increase of more than 30% over last year.

This year has also been a peak year for cultural cooperation. The Camari Theatre appeared in Beijing with Hanoch Levin’s "Ashkava" and the Philharmonic will put on a festive concert in Beijing and in Shanghai in honor of the new year.