Blue Book

In 2015, China’s scholar community included Israel into the Blue Book Series. The Blue Book is an annual Chinese language publication on domestic issues and country studies.  It serves as a reference for policy experts, scholars, Party and Government officials in China. The country studies provides a profile of states deemed important to China. The subjects addressed include economy, society, scientific and technological development and education.  There are Blue Books on a select group of countries including the USA, Germany, UK and France.

The Israel Blue Book was initiated and is edited by Professor Zhang Qianhong, author of China’s official History of Israel. Prof. Zhang is a member of the CPPCC (China People’s Congress), Vice President of Zhengzhou University (overseeing 66,000 students) and the Director of SIGNAL’s Israel Studies Program at Henan University. The Israel Blue Book is published by the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), China’s premier research institution in the field of social sciences and a close affiliate of SIGNAL’s.

SIGNAL contributes to the publication, providing original source material to the Chinese authors.  SIGNAL is also responsible for engaging Israeli and Jewish scholars and professionals to write on specialized topics such as Israel-China relations, US-Israel relations, and the status of global Jewry. SIGNAL’s involvement is in line with its mission to bring an accurate understanding of Israel, its people, and the region to China’s current and future thought leaders.

A Global Perspective of the Jewish People, 2016
By: David Harris

Introduction

Any attempt to understand and analyze the state of world Jewry faces several challenges from the start.

First, outside the Jewish-majority State of Israel, which has all the attributes of a nation—census data, economic reports, global rankings, security assessments, and political barometers—Jews live in scores of other countries around the world where such attributes are usually lacking, making it difficult to collect information and reach conclusions about their Jewish communities.
Second, in the country with the largest concentration of Jews outside Israel, the United States, census guidelines prohibit questions about religion, which means that data collection and assessment are pursued by private – scholarly or communal – sources, if at all.

Third, there is no universally accepted definition of who is a Jew. Depending on the community, criteria can range from a very open understanding of Jewish identity – e.g., anyone who considers herself or himself a Jew, or anyone who has any Jewish ancestry – to much more restrictive definitions – e.g., only those who have a Jewish mother or those who have been converted to Judaism by certain rabbis and not others.

The Three Roots of the Special Relationship: What makes U.S.-Israeli ties so strong?
By: Eran Lerman

President John F. Kennedy, in 1962, was the first to coin the phrase “Special Relationship” to describe the unique nature of U.S.-Israeli ties. In essence, however, they were “special” well before that – indeed, they were special all along, ever since President Truman recognized Israel 11 minutes after her Declaration of Independence went into effect. What made them special, and this remains true today, is that it was never possible to explain the relationship simply in terms of calculated national interests, or to reduce it to the impact of domestic politics. It has always rested on three complementary pillars, or rather grew from three strong roots, and could not have risen to the levels it achieved – particularly in the last thirty years or so – without the synergy between all three: the commonality of interests, the affinity of values, and the impact of politics.

Sino-Israel Relations in 2015
By: Carice Witte and Meron Medzini

Introduction

Born just over a year apart, the modern states of the People’s Republic of China and Israel both started as poor desert nations. Partly because both lacked water resources, they began as agrarian societies. However, over the years they developed to become among the world’s leading industrial-technological societies. Both came into being in a hostile environment and had to fight to protect their newly won independence.

Although formal relations were established in 1992, interactions remained relatively limited until recent years. The sharp growth occurred when both Israel and China reached a certain level of economic success – China through manufacturing and Israel through innovation. In 2010, China’s leadership officially announced its intention to transform the Middle Kingdom from a manufacturing driven economy to one led by high tech and innovation. Meanwhile, Israel noted that the fallout of the 2008 world economic meltdown did not impact China any more than it affected Israel; both remained strong growing economies. Israel began to eye China’s market potential while China began to covet Israel’s innovation expertise. Since 2010 when China became the world’s second largest economy by certain measures, relations between it and Israel have grown significantly.