Illustration by Nadya Yeh
The fascinating history and current state of Israel’s ties to China — Q&A with Carice Witte
Israel was the first country in the Middle East to recognize the People’s Republic of China in January 1950. China wasn’t as quick to recognize Israel. And before Israel felt comfortable reaching out to China officially, it was looking for the okay from the U.S. because it was the U.S. and Europe that gave the push to create the state of Israel in 1948. By the time [Israel’s first prime minister] Ben-Gurion was able to get feedback from the Americans, China had already signed onto the Bandung Conference agreement and joined the boycott of Israel.
It was only in the ‘70s when Israel connected to China when Beijing was interested in arms, and the U.S. was interested in using Israel to help bring China out of the Soviet Union orbit. As long as that was the case, we were encouraged by the U.S. to be friendly with China under the table, through Shaul Eisenberg, who was an arms dealer among other things…
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