Israel and China hold fifth joint committee on innovation

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Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, United States, October 13, 2021.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, PoolIsrael's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, United States, October 13, 2021.

'There’s a built-in curiosity in the character of our two peoples,' says Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid

The China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation met virutally on Monday, marking 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The meeting was led by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and China's Vice President Wang Qishan. 

The Joint Committee was established in 2014 as a bilateral dialogue. This is the fifth time the committee has convened and the first time since 2018. 

“The Chinese, like Israelis, aren’t afraid of new ideas," Lapid said at the beginning of the meeting, according to a press release by Israel's Foreign Ministry. "There’s a built-in curiosity in the character of our two peoples. Give us a new and exciting idea, and we’ll gather around it, enthusiastically discuss it, and immediately examine its origin and how it can be improved."

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“In my view, there’s no contradiction between ancient and new. They complete one another. History deals with two things: people and their ideas. The longer your history, the greater the number of ideas which accompany you.” 

Israel's Science, Technology, and Space Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen attended the meeting, as well as senior officials from the Health, Environmental Protection, Culture, Agriculture, and Economic ministries, and the Innovation Authority and Patent Office.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the trade volume between Israel and China increased significantly over the three decades of diplomatic relations, standing today at approximately $18 billion. 

"China is one of Israel’s most important trading partners, and the free trade agreement is expected to contribute to increasing trade volume," the statement said.

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