Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan on Monday, saying it represents “the most important visit by a Chinese leader in the last 18 years.”

The two will chair the fourth annual Israel-China Innovation Conference at the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, where eight joint agreements are expected to be signed related to innovation, science and technology, agriculture, life sciences and digital health. Netanyahu and Wang will sign the conference’s new multi-year plan.

“It’s a sign of our growing friendship,” said Netanyahu. “The fact that the vice president of China came to Israel at my invitation for the Prime Minister’s Innovation Conference is a tremendous compliment to Israel, and a reflection of the growing ties between China and Israel.”

Last year, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology opened Israel’s first university campus in China.

Nevertheless, the Israeli government made waves last month as it awarded contracts to Chinese companies to construct and manage crucial Israeli ports in Haifa and Ashdod.

“China is not on our side,” said Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shaul Chorev, a former Deputy Commander of the Israeli Navy, adding that it supports Iran and Pakistan.

In July, China announced that it will give $15 million in assistance to the Palestinian Authority.