Israeli defense minister pledges closer ties with China's military

10:35, June 15, 2011      

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Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak speaks at a press conference held in the Embassy of Israel in Beijing on June 15. (Chen Lele/People's Daily Online)

Israel expects to consolidate partnership with China's military as well as to promote cooperation in technology and economy, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said during a press conference held in the Israeli Embassy in Beijing on June 14.

Barak's last visit to China was 17 years ago as Israel's chief of general staff. He said what impressed him most is that there has been a huge leap forward in everything he could see in Beijing.

Barak arrived in Beijing for meetings with senior officials, including Gen. Liang Guanglie, the Chinese minister of defense; Gen. Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, and Vice Premier Li Keqiang.

"In all of our meetings, we looked for ways with people in uniforms to consolidate the relationship between our defense establishments with a variety of common interests, from fighting terrorism to exchanging visits of soldiers and officers. I invited both the defense minister and chief of general staff to visit Israel," he said.

In addition to raising military-to-military relations to a new level, Barak also expressed his wish to enhance the historical friendship between the two peoples and to further broaden cooperation in diverse areas, such as in high technology, clean technology, agriculture and trade.

"We are ready to share our knowledge with your gifted scientists, engineers and businessmen to find ways to make business. Israel is too small, and it never has enough market for our technology," he said. "We came here to consolidate our partnership with the Chinese PLA but also to expose to the Chinese people our openness to join hands and make the world, including China and Israel, a little bit better to live in."

Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Benjamin Netanyahu's government. He served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces. Following a highly decorated career, he was appointed chief of general staff in 1991, serving until 1995.

By Zheng Qingting, People's Daily Online
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