The Israeli people have admired China’s achievements during the past 60 years and hope the relationship between the two countries will "grow and grow" in future, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Thursday in an interview with Xinhua.

Danny Ayalon: "Israelis admire China  because, although we are a small people and you are such a great people in numbers, both peoples are very ancient with very, very important culture and history and traditions, so we feel very close to China, even though we are very far away in distance."

Danny Ayalon: "First of all, I think the fact that you have managed such a great country with 1.3 billion people to live peacefully together and to create democratic institutions and to create a good economy and social welfare is a great achievement. Also the fact that technologically, you have astronauts in space, and you have made progress in agriculture, in science and technology – these are also very great achievements, and the fact that China is a very responsible power not just in Asia but globally as well. I think that the fact that China is part of the five permanent members of the Security Council is also a great diplomatic achievement for China and it is very much deserved."

Ayalon visited China in 1998. He recalled his pleasurable memories about the ancient country and Chinese people during the interview.

Danny Ayalon: "I was very grateful to be in China in 1998 with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he was Prime Minister before and I look forward to come again. First of all, I really enjoyed meeting the Chinese in the street; you know, we went to do some shopping and to restaurants, and they are all so kind and so very nice. I was impressed to see the Chinese Wall, to see the really great structure and great enterprise. I also liked very much to see the agriculture farm near Beijing which is a joint venture of Israel and China, building on experience, agricultural innovations that were made both in Israel and China, as the cooperation was very good; I was very pleased to see that."

Ayalon is satisfied with the achievements of cooperation between Israel and China since the two countries established diplomatic relationship in 1992, saying the relationship would go further.

Danny Ayalon: "We believe the relationship will flourish and in terms of economic partnership, joint ventures on science and technology. There are many compatibilities between the Israeli economy and the Chinese economy and I am sure the relationship will grow and grow."