China, Israel agree to advance cooperation in many areas

Netanyahu said Israel was willing to see China play a bigger role in Middle East affairs, according to Xinhua.

In the name of the government, he said that China is ready to work with Israel to boost infrastructure cooperation, such as ports and light rail, and to explore the possibility of collaborating in third markets.

Netanyahu said there was much to talk about in tech cooperation.

Netanyahu's trip comes just days after China hosted Saudi Arabia's King Salman and signed deals worth as much as $65 billion with Riyadh.The Middle East, however, is fraught with risk for China, a country that has little experience navigating the religious and political tensions that frequently rack the region.China also has close ties with Iran, whose nuclear programme has seriously alarmed Israel.

"You're a global leader in research and development", she said.

The prime minister's traveling entourage included Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin, Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen, Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel.

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Netanyahu said the nations would discuss a free-trade agreement.

Israel's former consul-general in Shanghai and the managing partner of business advisory firm Sheng BDO Ilan Maor said he thought China's leadership was keen to limit discussions with the Israeli delegation to economics, even if Beijing has become more outspoken on Middle East issues. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Israel in the summer, underpinning the Asia trend.

China also has traditionally had a good relationship with the Palestinians.

Before the meeting, Vice Premier Liu and Netanyahu visited a small exhibition highlighting some of the fruits of the committee's previous meetings.

On the Chinese side, besides the vice premier, the meeting was addressed by Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang, Vice Health Minister Cut Lui, Vice Environmental Protection Minister Zhao Yingming, Vice Culture Minister Ding Wei.

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