Dr Mike Evans

President Herzog invites Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Israel

Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday, officially inviting the leader to visit Israel. The call marked the first conversation between the two presidents. The invitation was immediately reciprocated, with the Chinese leader inviting Herzog to visit China as well.

Next year marks the 30th anniversary since Israel and China established diplomatic relations. Some of the presidents’ discussion focused on effort to commemorate the historic milestone. Herzog’s father, the late former president Chaim Herzog, was the first Israeli president to visit China when diplomatic relations were first established.

“President Herzog updated President Xi on the recent establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and several Arab states in the framework of the Abraham Accords, and noted that this constitutes a positive development in the Middle East that must be encouraged,” Israel National News reported.

“The President further noted that this trend stands in complete contrast to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s activities, which are damaging and undermining regional stability in the Middle East. President Herzog further emphasized the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability,” it added.

Iran continues to remain a topic of special interest in Israel’s international discussions. Israel argues that Teheran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons is a threat for the entire region, including China, as it seeks to develop a stronger international consensus against Iran’s efforts.

Herzog is not the only president to recently talk with Jinping. US President Joe Biden also held a virtual meeting with the Chinese leader this week to discuss ways to improve relations. The US-initiated meeting addressed tensions with Taiwan, as well as other opportunities and concerns between the two nations.