PM Netanyahu: China is Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia. We admire China and we think there are complementary things that Israel brings to this relationship. One of them is innovation.
Vice Premier Liu Yandong: I am here to learn from the best practices of Israel in science, technology and innovation.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday morning (19 May 2014), in his Jerusalem office, with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong.
Following are their remarks:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: I’m very pleased to welcome Vice Premier of China, Liu Yandong, to Jerusalem. Madam Liu, it’s a pleasure to see you here with your delegation. You should know that you’ve come to something of a national holiday because yesterday we proudly saw the victory of Maccabee Tel Aviv basketball team for the European championship, so this is a time of great celebration.
And this is a time that we also celebrate the great success and growth of the Israeli-Chinese cooperation and relationship. A year ago, I visited China. I had excellent meetings with President Xi and Premier Li. We have expanded our cooperation in many ways. China is Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia and fast becoming perhaps Israel’s largest trading partner period as we move into the future. We see the great success of China. We admire China and we think there are complementary things that Israel brings to this relationship. One of them is innovation.
What we’re going to sign today is an agreement for expanding innovation in cooperative efforts between our two countries and equally our Health Minister will sign an agreement to help advance our cooperation in times of emergencies. This is one of many, many things that we’re doing together and I think the possibilities are limitless.
There’s a natural affinity and friendship between the ancient people of China and the ancient people of Israel. We are both rooted in great traditions, but we also are absolutely determined to seize the future, and I welcome you in that spirit to Jerusalem and in the hopes of seizing the future together.
Welcome to Jerusalem.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong: Thank you. Your Excellency, Mr. Prime Minister, first of all, congratulations on your team’s success in the basketball game. And I also want to thank your government’s gracious invitation for me to come to this beautiful country that has a time-honored history and beaming with vitality. And I also want to convey the best greetings from myself and the Chinese government through the media to the government and people of Israel.
As you rightly pointed out, Mr. Prime Minister, our two peoples are rooted in a tradition of friendship. The Jewish and the Chinese peoples are peoples of great wisdom. We bracket Asia and we respectively created our splendid cultures that stretch thousands of years of history. And we both made enormous contributions to human civilization. Yesterday afternoon I visited the Israel Museum and also the Old City of Jerusalem and I was so amazed at the beauty of this country.
Especially during the Second World War, we fought shoulder to shoulder against the world’s fascism and we stood together through the dark time. I spent 18 years in Shanghai. Actually, everywhere in Shanghai people tell the good stories of harmonious coexistence between the Chinese people and Jewish people.
I want to mention in particular here that in 1942, a Jewish doctor by the name of Jacob Rosenfeld came to a place in Shanghai where my father fought against the Japanese aggressors. And Dr. Rosenfeld and his team members saved the lives of thousands of Chinese people. This is a group photo of Dr. Rosenfeld and this is my father here, and one of the founding generals of China, General Xin Yi, named Dr. Rosenfeld as one of the heroes against Japanese aggression. Unfortunately in 1952, when Dr. Rosenfeld visited Israel, he passed away. So when my father was around, he vowed to visit Israel and to see the hometown of Dr. Rosenfeld to express his appreciation, and his dream was realized by his daughter.
So this time I am visiting Israel to implement the consensus reached between our leaders during your visit and also President Peres’ visit to China. In the past 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, our two countries have enjoyed sound political relations and ever stronger practical cooperation, and the past two visits all agreed that we should expand our cooperation in fields including innovation to the mutual benefit of the two countries.
So, this trip for me is truly a trip of learning. I am here to learn from the best practices of Israel in science, technology and innovation. And this is also a trip of promoting cooperation. It is truly our hope that we will be able to bring our cooperation in all fields to new heights, and certainly it is indeed a trip of friendship and I am here to enhance the friendship between our peoples so as to increase our popular support for the growth of this relationship."