China continues to make an impact on Tel Aviv real estate. A year after the Chinese government bought the Comverse building in Tel Aviv to house its embassy, it has rented 1,000 square meters of space in the same Ramat Hachayal neighborhood of the city. The ten-year lease will cost China NIS 250 million, with an additional NIS 20 million to outfit the building to match its needs.
The space will be used as a Chinese cultural center. According to Won Ting, the Chinese government’s cultural officer in Israel, the move is part of China’s efforts “to present China’s culture in all countries that have a strategic importance for us, whether diplomatic or economic. The center will include classes and lectures on language, cooking, arts, and other matters.”
In recent years, China and Israel have developed close business and technology ties, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently returned from what he proclaimed a “very successful” trip to China. Speaking at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Netanyahu said that Israel “admires China’s capabilities, its position on the world stage and in history. We have always believed, as we discussed on my previous visit, that Israel can be a partner, a junior partner, but a perfect partner for China in the development of a variety of technologies that change the way we live, how long we live, how healthy we live, the water we drink, the food we eat, the milk that we drink – in every area.
“There are vast and rapid changes in technology, which Israel excels in that we believe that we could cooperate in. We know that you have great scientists, great industrialists, great capabilities, and we think that by working together we can make the future better for our peoples, but also I think for humanity as a whole,” Netanyahu added.