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Liu Yandong Pays Official Visit to Israel

On March 29, 2016 local time, when paying an official visit to Israel, Vice Premier Liu Yandong met respectively with President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

Liu Yandong noted that during the World Anti-Fascist War, the Chinese nation and the Jewish nation helped each other, shared weal and woe and established profound friendship, which laid a solid foundation for the development of China-Israel relations. Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Israel, bilateral friendly relations have achieved substantial progress, and the two sides have witnessed rapid development in innovation cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, science and technology, education, agriculture, health care and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China regards Israel as an important partner of innovation cooperation, and the two sides should take the 2nd meeting of the China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation as an opportunity to upgrade and improve the quality of bilateral innovation cooperation. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Israeli side to constantly push China-Israel relations for development of deeper level and wider scope.

Reuven Rivlin said that China itself has achieved enormous development in the past two decades and also changed the world. Israel regards China as an important friend and partner. The Israeli side will never forget the invaluable help and support the Chinese people offered during the most difficult time of the Jewish nation and hopes to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in various fields including science and technology, innovation, agriculture and people-to-people and cultural affairs, which serves the common interests of both sides.

Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel takes China as a top priority in its diplomatic relations, and stands ready to become China's ideal partner of innovation cooperation. Further strengthening the practical cooperation between Israel and China in such fields as innovation, agriculture, education, science and technology, medical and health care, infrastructure and energy is vital to the two countries' respective development in the future, serves the strategic interests of the two sides, and at the same time helps to promote prosperity and development in the region and even the whole world.

During the visit, the two sides announced that both agreed on the official launch of negotiations on the China-Israel Free Trade Area.

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