In the framework of the Knesset delegation`s visit to China, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein met in Beijing on Tuesday with the Premier of the State Council of the People`s Republic of China, Li Keqiang.
The Knesset delegation, which also includes MKs Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid), Elie Elalouf (Kulanu) and Michal Rozin (Meretz), as well as Knesset Secretary-General Yardena Meller-Horowitz, began its official visit to China on Monday. Upon their arrival, the delegation members received a warm welcome and held a meeting with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People`s Congress (NPC), the national legislature of the People`s Republic of China. Knesset Speaker Edelstein officially invited Dejiang to visit the Knesset in order to sign a cooperation agreement between the two parliaments.
The meeting between Speaker Edelstein and Premier Keqiang focused on ways to deepen the cooperation between Israel and China on issues related to innovation, technology and finance. They discussed the possibility of launching talks aimed at establishing a free-trade zone between the two countries.
Premier Keqiang said, ”Both China and Israel are countries with an ancient culture and a rich history. The relations between the countries are strong and are based on friendship and much respect. This year, the two countries have cooperated numerous times in the economic, academic and agricultural fields. The cooperation, particularly in the field of innovation, must continue and be deepened.”
Speaker Edelstein said the cooperation between Israel and China is constantly increasing, and the potential of the cooperation ”is not even close to being exhausted.”
”Israel is interested in expanding the partnership in the field of innovation and in other fields,” Edelstein told Keqiang.
”This is a historic visit, because it is the first time that a Speaker of the Knesset visits China,” he added. ”Israel has not forgotten that China gave sanctuary to Jewish refugees who had fled the horror of the Holocaust during World War Two.”
Israel`s Ambassador to China, former Minister Matan Vilnai, said the meeting between Edelstein and Keqiang serves as proof of the deep friendship between Israel and China and the countries` desire to deepen the cooperation and friendship between them.