Israel Marks 25 Years of Diplomatic Relations with China, India Amid Strengthening Ties

Israel marked 25 years of diplomatic relations with China and India last week, an anniversary that coincided with efforts by both countries to strengthen their relationship with the Jewish state.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Israel in 2017, Ynet reported Tuesday. Modi’s trip to Israel will be the first in history for an Indian prime minister. Pavan Kapoor, India’s ambassador to Israel, made the announcement Monday night in an interview marking the anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Meanwhile, trade between Israel and China currently stands at $11 billion and is expected to grow significantly as the two countries continue to negotiate a free trade zone, a move pushed by growing interest in Israeli tech startups by Chinese investors.

“As the world’s second-largest economy shifts its identity from a manufacturing and labor-intensive economy to a high-end innovative force, Asian giants including Alibaba Group, Hutchison Water Ltd., and Huawei have set up R&D centers, invested in funds and snapped up Israeli startups and companies,” The Times of Israel reported in October.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the two Asian powers in remarks before the weekly cabinet meeting this past Sunday. Regarding relation with China and India, Netanyahu joked that “Together with Israel, their populations reach almost one-third of the world’s population.” More seriously, he added, “But relations are truly seeing a dramatic upturn – trade delegations, the magnitude of trade – and I would say, mutual relations in many areas including security, tourism and technology. Simply put, there has been a major breakthrough here and I think that the fact that Israel such strong relations with two of the world’s major powers attests to the status of Israel among the nations, a position that is becoming stronger due to our technological, military and intelligence capabilities.”

[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]