|Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong (L) attends a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, on May 19, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Rui)|
JERUSALEM, May 19 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong pledged here Monday to further promote bilateral cooperation in the areas of science, innovation, health, education and people-to-people exchange.
The pledge was made when Netanyahu held a meeting with Liu, who arrived in Israel Sunday for a five-day official visit.
During the meeting, Netanyahu said that both Israel and China have a long history and a future-oriented cultural tradition.
He said that during the Second World War, the Chinese people gave the Jewish people hope and light, which the Israelis will remember for ever.
Israel attaches great importance to the growth of its relations with China and has strong confidence in China's development in the future, Netanyahu noted, adding that Israel is willing to make joint efforts with China to make their cooperation in science, innovation and other areas more fruitful.
"China is Israel's largest trading partner in Asia and fast becoming Israel's largest trading partner as we move into the future. We see the great success of China," he said. "We admire China and we think there are complementary things that Israel brings to this relationship. One of them is innovation."
Liu said that during the Second World War, the Chinese and Jewish peoples fought shoulder to shoulder against the world's fascism, stood together through the dark time and forged profound friendship.
"In the past 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, our two countries have enjoyed sound political relations and ever stronger practical cooperation," she said.
Liu said her current visit to Israel is aimed at implementing the consensus reached between leaders of the two countries on strengthening bilateral cooperation, particularly in the fields of science and technology, health, education and culture.
From a long-term perspective, the two countries should push forward cooperation in innovation and high-tech, making it a firm foundation to ensure the continuous robust growth of their relations, she stressed.
Before the meeting, Netanyahu and Liu signed a memorandum on the establishment of a joint bilateral committee to expand innovation cooperation between Israel and China.