BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday will start a four-day official visit to China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang.
Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1949. He completed his academic degrees in architecture, business and political sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.
He joined the Likud party and was elected as a member of the Israeli parliament in 1988.
Netanyahu served as vice foreign minister between 1988 and 1991.
From 1991 to 1992, he was appointed as deputy minister of the prime minister's office.
In 1993, he was elected chairman of the Likud party. From 1996 to 1999, Netanyahu served as prime minister of Israel.
In the 1999 elections, he was defeated by then Labor leader Ehud Barak. He retired from political life that year and worked as a consultant at an Israeli communications equipment developer, only to return two years later with the collapse of Barak's government.
He was appointed as the finance minister in Ariel Sharon's government in 2003, carrying out tough reforms cutting child benefits for single-mothers, among others.
He left Sharon's government in 2005 after the latter conducted the disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip and spent the next four years as head of the opposition.
In 2009, after six years of rule by the center Kadima Party, the right-wing bloc won the majority of seats in the Knesset (parliament) and Netanyahu, as the Likud head, was assigned again to the post of prime minister.
In March 2013 and May 2015, he was re-elected as prime minister, respectively.