Chief of Staff: China has significant influence in Middle East

Lt. Gen. Gantz meets with Chinese VP

Lt. Gen. Gantz meets with Chinese vice president; focus of meeting was regional turmoil in Middle East

Date: 22/05/2012, 12:21 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz met on Tuesday (May 22) with China’s vice president. The meeting was part of the work visit that Lt. Gen. Gantz is conducting this week in China.

The focus of the meeting was the regional turmoil in the Middle East.

Lt. Gen. Gantz emphasized the importance of China’s influence in the Middle East as a whole and Iran in particular.

The Chinese vice president stated China’s desire to strengthen ties with Israel and the IDF (Zahal) and expressed understanding about Israel’s concerns on the Iranian issue. He said that all diplomatic efforts should first be exhausted on the matter.

On Monday, Lt. Gen. Gantz met with the Chief of the Chinese General Staff, General Chen Bindnge. Gen. Bindge thanked Lt. Gen. Gantz for his August 2011 trip to Israel, which he said left with him a significant impression of the IDF (Zahal) being a strong and patriotic army.  

General Bindnge also welcomed the growing cooperation between the IDF (Zahal) and the Chinese military. The two military leaders discussed common contemporary security and strategic challenges, the regional security situation in the Middle East, and the ties between the two militaries. Lt. Gen. Gantz expressed his appreciation for Chinese influence in the region.

Both expressed their satisfaction with the cooperation between the militaries and noted their commitment to continue to develop this relationship. Lt. Gen. Gantz also mentioned the mutual visits of senior officers from both armies, as well as joint courses that are expected in the near future.