China’s vice president and Israel’s prime minister have kicked off a joint innovation summit — where the two countries are working to cement their fast-growing relationship.
Wang Qishan and Binyamin Netanyahu toured a number of exhibits by high-tech Israeli start-ups focused on self-driving cars, health care and agriculture. They were scheduled to attend an evening gala event and the opening of an Israeli innovation center on Thursday.
Wang, a close confidant of President Xi Jinping, is one of the most senior Chinese officials to visit Israel since the countries established diplomatic relations in 1992.
China has become Israel’s third largest trading partner, behind only the U.S. and the European Union. Israel exported $2.8 billion to China in the first half of 2018, an 80% jump from last year.
Also participating in the innovation summit were Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Chinese Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang and other senior officials.