China and Is­rael shake over new mil­i­tary links

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

THE AR­RIVAL of the chief of Chinese mil­i­tary, Gen­eral Chan Bingde, on Sun­day in Is­rael for a four-day visit is a sig­nal of the thaw­ing of se­cu­rity re­la­tions be­tween the coun­tries.

China re­duced its diplo­matic and de­fence ties with Is­rael in 2000 fol­low­ing Is­rael’s can­cel­la­tion, un­der US pres­sure, of a £150m deal to sell ear­ly­warn­ing air­craft to the Chinese Air Force.

Since then, there have been no arms deals be­tween the two coun­tries but, over the past year, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the mil­i­taries and in­tell i g e n c e ser­vices on both sides h a s b e e n warmin­gup. This has mainly come about as a re­sult of China’s ea­ger­ness to use Is­raeli coun­tert­er­ror­ism tech­niques in its cam­paign against Is­lamist ter­ror in the north­west­ern Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion. China is also in­ter­ested in Is­raeli ex­per­tise in its ef­forts to up­date its mil­i­tary doc­trines.

Two months ago, De­fence Min­is­ter Ehud Barak made a widely pub­li­cised visit to Bei­jing where, ac­cord­ing to one of his ad­vis­ers, “the Chinese treated us like roy­alty. They are con­vinced that we have su­pe­rior knowl­edge in the fields of de­fence and are ea­ger for any bit of in­for­ma­tion.”

The visit this week by Gen­eral Bingde was seen as a re­cip­ro­cal visit and he was taken on a tour of sev­eral mil­i­tary units.


Barak with Gen. Bingde this week

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