IDF Tries to Sway China before Talks with Iran (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu 05/21/12)
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IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz is meeting with his Chinese
counterpart this week on the eve of critical talks with Iranian
officials in Iraq. It is the first time in 16 years the IDF Chief of
Staff has visited China.
China’s Chief-of-Staff General Chen Bindnge, who visited Israel last
August, invited Gantz to China, where he already has won a previously
unscheduled private meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping of
China. Xi Jinping is expected to be the next president, and the
invitation for a personal visit was seen as evidence of the warm way
in which the lieutenant-general is being received.
Gantz’s visit to China will include observing a liהe-fire exercise
and a tour of the Jewish museum in Shanghai.
Gantz is to “discuss current security and strategic challenges, the
regional security status in the Middle East and military
cooperation,” IDF spokesmen said.
The talks in Iraq come against the background of harsh economic
sanctions on Iran, mostly of them opposed by China, as Tehran
continues its nuclear program without supervision.
China has a vested interest in Iran due to its being a major
purchaser of Iranian oil.
China once enjoyed a growing military trade with Israel, but in 2005
Israel was forced by the United States to cancel a huge contract to
update Chinese drones. Washington feared the American technology in
the Israeli drones could be used by China against American allies.
The American ban on Israel’s selling military equipment to China
remains in force, and Gantz is not expected to discuss possible back-
door sales. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/21/12)
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