|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) holds a welcome ceremony for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beijing, capital of China, May 8, 2013. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday underscored the country's commitment to seek stronger cooperation with Israel and boost the Middle East peace process.
Li made the comments in an hour-long talk with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Great Hall of the People.
He reviewed the robust growth of China-Israel relations since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1992, citing rapid development of bilateral cooperation in various fields.
The premier said the new Chinese government has placed great importance on developing ties with Israel, calling on the two countries to step up exchanges between governments, parliaments, parties and non-governmental organizations, and work more closely in education, tourism and other people-to-people fields.
Li said the Palestinian issue is at the core of factors influencing peace and stability in the Middle East, stressing dialogue is the only effective way to finding peaceful solutions.
He told his guest that China expects Israel and Palestine to work together, take substantive measures to remove obstacles and create conditions for the restoration and progress of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, which is in the interests of Israel and Palestine and works for regional and world peace and stability.
As friends of Israel and Palestine, China has always take an objective and fair stance and would like to make joint efforts with all parties to promote the Middle East peace process, Li said.
On the economic front, he called on the two countries to expand two-way trade, and add value to it.
To deepen science and technology cooperation, Li proposed the two countries jointly build industrial zones and technology-transfer centers to make the best of their advantages. The premier welcomed more Israeli investment in China's cutting-edge technology fields.
China would like to learn from Israel on cultivating agricultural products, improving husbandry and water conservation, he added.
According to Li, China is encouraging businesses with strong capabilities to participate in Israel's engineering projects.
"My main message in this visit is that Israel can be the perfect junior partner for China in its pursuit of economic excellence and competitive advantages by offering our technological capabilities," Netanyahu said at the start of the talks.
He noted that Israel is a small country but has a great concentration of technological powers in many disciplines, saying, "I think we can cooperate by scaling up these technologies for the benefit of both countries. "
Netanyahu said Israel admires China's development achievements and would like to work more closely with China to usher in a better future.
Israel's prime minister proposed the two countries work more closely in technology innovation, water conservation, agriculture, husbandry and recyclable energy.
Li and Netanyahu agreed that the two countries will set up a special working group, carry out research and formulate cooperative plans.
After the talks, they witnessed the signing of a series of cooperative agreements covering areas ranging from agriculture and technology to finance and education.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu on Thursday.
Chinese President: four-point proposal for the settlement of the Palestinian question
1,First, the right direction to follow should be an independent Palestinian State and peaceful co-existence of Palestine and Israel.
2,Second, negotiation should be taken as the only way to peace between Palestine and Israel.
3,Third, principles such as "land for peace" should be firmly upheld.
4,Fourth, the international community should provide important guarantee for progress in the peace process.
Chinese President meets Palestinian President :
Quotes: Chinese President Xi Jinping; Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Chinese President Xi Jinping
"Chinese people's support to Palestinian people is sincere and hearty. China will, as always, support the just cause of the Palestinian people"
"Despite turns and twists in peace talks between Palestine and Israel, we believe that the dream of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state can come true provided (you) hold the general direction of peace and make unremitting efforts (in your cause)." .
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
"A political solution remains the best and only way out, " adding that his country supported such an option.
Abbas also urged Israel to observe international pacts, halt settlement building so as to create conditions for resumption of the peace talks.