China, Israel Pledge Closer Military Ties

China and Israel are taking steps to thaw a frosty relationship with a visit between the two countries’ chiefs of staff. From the Washington Post:

The improved ties have been highlighted by this week’s visit to Beijing by Israel’s military chief and a training mission to Israel by the Chinese paramilitary force that, among other things, polices the restive Tibetan and Muslim Uighur regions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to travel to China in the coming weeks.

[…] Chen told the official China Daily that China “attaches importance to the ties with the Israeli military and is willing to make concerted efforts with the Israeli side to deepen pragmatic cooperation.”

In a statement released by the Israeli military, Gantz mentioned a commitment to developing the relationship, including “joint courses that are scheduled to take place.” It did not elaborate.

Such comments are a remarkable turnaround from just a few years ago, when ties deteriorated after the failed arms deals.

In recent years, China has often found itself in the middle of tensions between Israel and Iran, which has bought Chinese military technology despite objections from the U.S. and other countries. For more on this, see a previous CDT post, “Beijing Steers ‘Tricky Path’ With Iran.” Read more about Chinese relations with Israel via CDT.

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