Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

China, Wanting in on Peace Talks, to Establish Ties with Israel Soon

January 10, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Israel is expected before the end of this month, if only because China is anxious to attend the multilateral phase of the Middle East peace process, scheduled to open Jan. 28 in Moscow.

Israel has laid down the condition that it must have diplomatic ties with every non-Middle East state invited to attend the conference, which will deal with broad regional issues.

U Chen Chu, foreign editor of the official New China Times, told Israel Radio in a telephone interview Thursday that although no official announcement has been made in Beijing, one is expected shortly.

Turkey, which is part of the region and would like to host a conference on water utilization, announced recently through its embassy in Washington that relations with Israel have been upgraded from consular to the ambassadorial level.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment on that announcement at the time But it has since been confirmed in Ankara.

The impending relations with China have been kept very low key.

China’s deputy foreign minister, Yang Fu Chang, failed to keep his recent visit to Israel secret, although he and his entourage took elaborate measures to evade photographers here.

Yang is known to have met with several Israeli officials.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens’ apparent trip to China in November has never been acknowledged, despite publication of a photograph of him, ostensibly in Beijing, in an Israeli newspaper.

Given that background, the announcement of diplomatic ties is expected only when Foreign Minister David Levy is in China in two weeks.

He will pay a visit to Beijing starting Jan. 22, according to a report in the Hong Kong-based Far East Economic Review.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has declined comment.

Recommended from JTA