BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhuanet) -- After a two-day visit to Shanghai, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Beijing on Wednesday where he was welcomed by Premier Li Keqiang. The two leaders have exchanged views on trade and regional issues.
It is Benjamin Netanyahu’s first visit abroad since securing his third term in late March.
Premier Li Keqiang offered a grand gesture to welcome Netanyahu, as the two sides look to further promote mutual political trust and cooperation.
The two sides are expected to sign a series of inter-governmental cooperation documents and commercial agreements covering trade, science and technology and people-to-people exchanges.
"Netanyahu has chosen China to be his first destination abroad after being re-elected, showing that he attaches great importance in developing Sino-Israeli ties. Especially in boosting trade and economic ties," said Li Guofu, director of Center for Middle East Studies, CIIS
Prior to his trip to Beijing, Netanyahu stressed that China could be the engine for Israeli economic grow during his visit to Shanghai.
Sino-Israeli trade relations have expanded rapidly in recent years, with bilateral trade standing at 10 billion US dollars.
Apart from economic issues, the almost simultaneous visit to China by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also caught the attention of the global community.
Though a meeting didn’t take place, China’s stance has been made clear.
During his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, President Xi Jinping outlined his four-point proposal regarding issues in the Middle East.
He encouraged negotiations to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
" Both Palestinians and Israelis hope China can play a bigger role in Middle East affairs.The point has been made clear by visits by the two leader," said Li Guofu.
"The visits of Palestinian and Israeli leaders indicate that the new Chinese leadership devotes much attention to the Middle East issues. Despite twists and turns in the peace talks between Palestine and Israel, China believes that political solutions remains the best and only way out," CCTV reporter Hou Na said.