Chinese-Israeli relations in a Middle Eastern context: Retrospect and prospects

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Yitzhak Shichor, a professor emeritus in Asian studies and political science at the University of Haifa, explains the changing Chinese perceptions of Israel's relations with the Arabs, with the Arab impact on Chinese-Israeli relations. Initially, after its foundation in 1949, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) was much more interested in establishing relations with Israel than with the Arab countries, for a number of reasons. Nevertheless, Israel delayed its decision about diplomatic relations with China, so that by 1953 China had lost interest. The most important factor was the Chinese awareness of the importance in quantity as well as in quality of the Arab and the Muslim countries in the struggle against imperialism. Although Israel voted for China's admission to the UN in October 1971 and transmitted its interest in establishing diplomatic relations with China, Beijing still rejected official ties with Israel. The Chinese decided to establish diplomatic relations with Israel by the late 1980s determined by the Arab-Israeli conflict. Following a few years of informal relations and exploration that included Saudi acquisition of Chinese DF-3 IRBMs (intermediate range ballistic missiles), Beijing and Riyadh established diplomatic relations on 21 July 1990.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages15
JournalMediterranean Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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