Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Photo: AP

Barak braces for 'sensitive' China visit

Defense minister to be first in 10 years to visit state with which relations have been strained

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is set to depart Saturday night for China, where he is scheduled to conduct a number of meetings with local officials.


The Defense Ministry stated Saturday that it would be the first visit by an Israeli defense minister in 10 years, and that it would highlight the complex relationship between the two states.


Barak will be a guest of his Chinese counterpart, General Liang Guanglie, and will also meet with the local chief of staff as well as a number of other high-ranking officials.


Barak's visit took months to prepare, and one source associated with the preparations said it was "sensitive, but important and consequential".


The defense minister is set to discuss with local officials such issues as the Iranian threat, the peace process, and regional terror. "Every meeting on such a visit has important long-term consequences for relations with Israel," the source said.


Relations between Israel and China have been strained over the former's affinity with the US on one hand, and the latter's ties with Iran on the other.


A number of crises have also occurred over the past few years. In 2000, Israel reneged on its sale of Falcon aircraft to China due to US discontent. In 2005, Israel canceled a deal to supply China with drone parts, again due to US pressure.



פרסום ראשון: 06.11.11, 23:41
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