Chinese VP Arrives in Israel, Visits Kosel First

YERUSHALAYIM -
china israel
Chinese VP Wang Qishan at the Kosel, Monday. (Foreign Ministry/Miri Shimanovitz)

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan made a visit to the Kosel his first stop as he arrived in Yerushalayim on Monday for a three-day trip.

Wang said that he has read much about Jewish history and was happy to “see and touch history near the stones of the ancient Wall.”

Mordechai Eliav, the head of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, explained to the vice president the Jewish people’s connection to the site. Wang then said a personal prayer and, following Jewish tradition, placed a note inside the crevices of the Kosel.

Wang, regarded as a close ally of Chinese President Xi Jinping, came with an entourage of two ministers, 12 deputy ministers, and a large business delegation, including Jack Ma, the co-founder and head of the Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies.

Wang is the most senior Chinese official to visit Israel since then-President Jiang Zemin visited in 2000.

On Monday evening, Wang met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife for a working dinner.

Wang and Netanyahu will co-host the fourth meeting of the China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation (JCIC), scheduled to be held at the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

“The fact that the vice president of China has come to Israel and responded to my invitation to participate in the Prime Minister’s Conference for Innovation is a great compliment to Israel, which reflects the developing relations between China and Israel, and I look forward to our talks,” Netanyahu said just before their meeting began Monday.