Jerusalem, July 20, 2003

Israel – China Political Dialogue
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman, July 20, 2003)

The annual political dialogue between the Foreign Ministries of Israel and China took place in Jerusalem, on July 16 and 17, 2003.

The Director-General of the Western Asian and North African Affairs Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wu Chunhua, headed the Chinese delegation. The Deputy Director-General of the Asia Department of the Foreign Ministry, Zvi Gabay, headed the Israeli delegation.

The discussions took place in a friendly atmosphere, reflecting the deep and warm ties between the two countries. The discussions focused on political issues, strategic matters, as well as regional and international affairs, and ideas were presented regarding the enhancement of bilateral relations in various domains, including trade, agriculture, economics, technological cooperation, cultural exchanges, and scientific exchanges. Today, the volume of trade between the two countries is more than $1 billion.

In the course of the visit, the Chinese delegation met with the Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, Yoav Biran, who praised the Government of China for its success in controlling the SARS epidemic.

During the visit, the head of the Chinese delegation expressed gratitude to Israel for its assistance to China in controlling the epidemic through the acquisition of medical equipment. In addition, China expressed its interest in developing further its scientific and technological ties.