Netanyahu arrives in China to develop growing ties

( Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in China on Sunday to begin the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to the country in six years.

Click photo to download. Caption: The Israeli Navy meets with the Chinese Navy at the Haifa port in August 2012 in honor of the 20 years of cooperation between the navies. This month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit China in a visit planned to further deepen relations. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

One current challenge the Jewish state faces is the possibility that China will see Israel’s close relationship with the U.S. as an obstacle to Israel-China ties, a determination that might cause China, which is becoming increasingly involved with the Middle East, to increase its reliance on Arab oil and ignore ties with Israel. 

China, however, believes that Israel holds one of the main keys to stability in the Middle East, as “an important source of knowledge about events in a region in which China often feels at a loss.” China also views Israel as “a source of advanced technologies, and China has an interest in promoting its science and technology ties with Israel and perhaps even energy ties as Israel’s natural gas industry develops,” Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies said in a study. 

For now, China is showing a balanced diplomatic approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, welcoming both Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for visits.

Posted on May 3, 2013 .