Israeli PM aims to boost business ties with China

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds a welcome ceremony for visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, March 20, 2017.

As a mutual friend of Israel and Palestine, China has no private interest and hopes to see peaceful coexistence of the two sides at an early date, said Li.

More than 100 technology executives have joined Netanyahu on the visit, with meetings planned with Chinese business leaders.

Mr Netanyahu is leading a large business delegation to promote commercial ties between Israel and the Asian giant. In a separate post, Netanyahu wrote: "Today I met with the heads of China's largest corporations".

But the economic mission has largely been overshadowed by a dispute that erupted between the prime minister and a key coalition partner just before his arrival in China. Aggravating the situation was statements made on motzei Shabbos by Mr. Netanyahu, in which he retracted the agreement reached with Kahlon last week to establish the new Israel Broadcasting Company.

Trade between China and Israel has flourished since diplomatic ties were established in 1992.

The two countries began free trade negotiations previous year.

China will continue to work with worldwide community to play a constructive role for the peace, stability and development of the Middle East, said the premier.

The plan is opposed by Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon, and some in the Likud said that Netanyahu was taking advantage of the matter in order to "put Kachlon in his place".

In a speech to the Arab League in January 2016, Xi expressed support for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, noting that China "understands the legitimate aspirations of Palestine to integrate into the worldwide community".

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