Israeli Cooperation with Asia:
Israel and China first established diplomatic relations in January 1992. Since then, they have developed their relations steadily, culminating in the historic visit of Chinese President Jiang Zeming to Israel in 2000. Four Israeli presidents and three prime ministers, including most recently Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu in May 2013, have made diplomatic and trade visits to Beijing. The basis for expanded Israel-Chinese relations lies in simple economics - Israel is a world leader in technology that can achieve scale with China as a global economic power with a population exceeding one billion.
Two-way trade volume between Israel and China increased almost 200 times since relations were officially established, from only a little more than $50 million in 1992 to $9.91 billion in 2012. In essence, the bilateral trade of two days in 2013 equals that of the whole year of 1992. Cooperation has expanded from primarly agricultural to almost all areas, such as science and technology, education, culture, arts, tourism and academia.
In 2008, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) was awarded the contract for digging the Carmel Tunnel in Haifa as well as for the civil engineering aspect of the Red Line of Tel Aviv’s light-rail project, which will connect Petah Tikvah with Bat Yam.
Also in 2008, ZPMC, a Chinese manufacturer of cranes and metal equipment, won the tender to supply seven bridge cranes to the Haifa port.
Zhou Hui, the China's former economic and commercial attache at to Israel, confirmed in 2008 that his government encourages Chinese firms to come to Israel. Zhou also noted that there were many more Chinese-Israeli joint projects in the pipeline. One of them, for example, is a future tender for renovating existing rail lines. In addition, a huge Chinese home-appliance manufacturer is considering opening a research and development center in Israel, and representatives of the Chinese car manufacturer BYD visited Israel to examine the possibility of cooperating in the field of electric vehicles and hybrids.
In May 2013, during his second-ever diplomatic visit to Beijing, Israeli PM Netanyahu oversaw the signing of a $400 million trade agreement that was officially penned by signed by Israeli Finance Ministry Accountant-General Michal Abadi-Boiangiu and officials from China’s Finance Ministry.
As H.E. Gao Yanping, China's Ambassador to Israel, wrote following Netanyahu's visit in China in 2013: "With the interdependence between countries deepening in the globalized world, China and Israel have a shared destiny. The closer our cooperation is, the more benefits will accrue for both our peoples, and the more contributions we will be able to make to regional stability, world peace and global prosperity."