Photo: Zoom 77
MK David Azoulay
Photo: Zoom 77
MK David Tal
Photo: Eli Elgarat
MK Dani Yatom
Photo: Eli Elgarat

Israeli MKs cause diplomatic incident with China

China furious because 5 MKs visited Taiwan; China has no diplomatic ties with Taiwan since the latter declared its sovereignty

Five Knesset Members caused a diplomatic feud between Israel and China. China is furious because MKs David Azoulay, Yitzhak Vaknin and Abraham Michaeli from Shas, along with Nissan Slomiansky (National Union-NRP) and David Tal (Kadima) visited in Taiwan.


After the Chinese found out the five were in Taiwan, the Chinese Ambassador in Israel Chen Yonglong asked MK Dani Yatom (Labor) for an urgent meeting with him since he is the head of the union for Sino-Israel relations.


The Chinese ambassador said in the meeting that China is angry over the MKs visit in Taiwan, which China has no diplomatic relations with. In response, Yatom promised to inquire on the matter.


'We kept a low profile'

At the end of the meeting, the Chinese ambassador asked for a guarantee that the MKs will not meet with government ministers in Taiwan. “If the event happens again, that matter will be viewed as critical,” said the ambassador.


During their visit, the MKs met with ministers in Taiwan, the Israeli ambassador and a local rabbi. MK Tal said in response to the diplomatic crisis that was caused: “Tell the Chinese they should not worry about a few people from Shas. We kept a low profile. We are also willing to hold a reconciliation meeting and even act as mediators.”


According to the MKs, the five received a briefing from the Foreign Ministry before they left for Taiwan, which complicated the matter even more.


China and Taiwan have no diplomatic relations after the two split following a civil war in 1949. Since then, Beijing attempted to use both diplomatic procedures and covert threats in order to rule over the island whose residents declared sovereignty.


In May 2005, China switched gears when it announced it will not hesitate to use military force if Taiwan will actively moves forward with its demand for independence.


פרסום ראשון: 09.13.06, 00:17
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