Celebrating 31 years of China-Israel friendship

Yao Minji
The Israeli consulate general in Shanghai marked the 31st year of Israel-China diplomatic relations and the 30th anniversary of Shanghai and Haifa signing a twin-city treaty.
Yao Minji

On May 10, the Israeli consulate general in Shanghai celebrated the 75th anniversary of Israel's founding and the 30th anniversary of Shanghai and Haifa signing a twin-city treaty.

It is also the 31st year of Israel-China diplomatic relations. The celebration was attended by Israel's consul general in Shanghai, Ravit Baer; deputy consul general Eytan Halon; Shanghai Vice Mayor Hua Yuan; and diplomats from 30 other countries.

Baer greeted guests and retraced the long-standing friendship between Israel and China,starting from the first Jewish community in Kaifeng City of Henan Province more than 1,000 years ago.

The friendship was further strengthened during World War II, when around 20,000 Jewish refugees found sanctuary in Shanghai. The diplomat also cited the fruitful achievements China and Israel had achieved over the past 31 years, highlighted by innovation, since diplomatic ties were established in 1992.

The two countries established the China-Israel intergovernmental economic and technological cooperation mechanism and the China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation. The China-Israel (Changzhou) Innovation Park and the China-Israel (Shanghai) Innovation Park were subsequently built.

Vigorous development of mutually beneficial cooperation has been observed over the past 31 years, during which China became the third top trade partner with Israel, and its most important export destination.

Celebrating 31 years of China-Israel friendship

Ravit Baer, consul general of Israel in Shanghai, delivers a speech during the Independence Day event.

The diplomat also awarded five persons from different fields for their contributions to "promoting the China-Israel partnership" ― Doctor Xiao Bo, curator Chen Jian, artist Jin Xing, Shanghai Diamond Exchange President Lin Qiang and Jewish studies professor Xu Xin. It was the first time that the consulate general gave such awards.

Xiao from Shanghai Jiao Tong University's School of Medicine is also a doctor of neurophysiology at Weizmann Institute of Science, foreign director of the SDR Surgery Center at Sourasky Medical Center of Tel Aviv University and director of the SDR Program at Herzliya Medical Center.

Xiao created the first human spinal nerve posterior root evoked electromyography database, which laid a solid foundation for the precision standardization of selective posterior nerve root dissection (SDR) for spastic cerebral palsy. The procedure was later approved in Israel and Xiao operates on Israeli and European child patients at Sourasky and Herzliya regularly.

Chen has been curator of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum since 2007. In 2009, he helped establish friendship relations between the neighborhoods of Kiryat Hayyim in Haifa and Hongkou District in Shanghai, which also improved exchanges between the two cities.

Famed dancer and choreographer Jin was invited by the Israeli government to perform there in 2006, and hosted an Israeli dance week in Shanghai in 2007 when she invited seven Israeli dance troupes to perform in the city. She has collaborated with many Israeli choreographers and led the Jin Xing Dance Theater to perform in Israel in 2017 to mark the 25th anniversary of the bilateral ties.

Lin, president of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, began to participate in the establishment of the exchange since its very inception, and became president when the SDE was established in 2000. He has been promoting market regulations as well as international exchanges and cooperation in the diamond industry, including those with the diamond industry in Israel, and also helped promoting Jewish culture in China.

Professor Xu, China's leading Judiac scholar from Nanjing University, was the first Chinese scholar to visit Israel and to be a guest speaker at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1988. He has visited the country 15 times.

In the remainder of 2023, a variety of art troupes from Israel will perform in Shanghai. An Israeli theater showcase will start at Shanghai Culture Square on Fuxing Road in July.

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