Peking Rejects Israeli Offer to Aid Chinese Earthquake Victims

The People’s Republic of China has returned to Israel a cable sent by Premier Yitzhak Rabin in which he expressed the government’s sorrow at the loss of life in last week’s earthquakes. Rabin sent his cable to the Chinese Prime Minister Hua Kuofeng immediately after news of the disaster arrived in Jerusalem. The cable was returned to Israel at the beginning of this week with a note that since Peking does not have diplomatic relations with Israel it cannot accept the message. The cable included an Israeli offer for medical and other assistance to the Chinese people.

Political observers in Jerusalem noted today that the Chinese continue to ignore systematically Israeli diplomats, even under informal circumstances. It was noted, however, that Chinese anti-Israel propaganda has been moderated slightly recently. The Chinese have even stressed that they recognize the existence of the state–a reference they have not mentioned too often in the past.

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