Fifth China Lecture tour of Professor Meron Medzini

From the 9th-25th September, Senior SIGNAL Fellow Professor Meron Medzini of Hebrew University embarked on the fifth annual lecture series in China to speak at SIGNAL Israel Studies Programs at Yunnan University, Henan University, North West University, as well as offering lectures at Xian University and Sun Yat Sen University.

img_0753sAt Yunnan University, Professor Medzini presented a two hour seminar on Israel’s Asian policy to 30 faculty and graduate students. The following day, he participated in Yunnan University’s annual Israel Studies Paper Competition awards ceremony. At the ceremony, Professor Medzini delivered a paper on Israel and the Silk Road. Also attending the ceremony was Kobi Yanowsky, Vice Consul of Israel in Chengdu representing Israel.

At Silk Road Initiative Conference Medzini represents SIGNAL

A conference organized on the Silk Road Initiative organized by SRTA (Silk Road Think Tank Association) was held in Xiamen from the 5th-8th September. The meeting, organized by the China Center for Contemporary World Studies (CCCWS), was titled Conference on Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and Advancing International Industrial Cooperation. This was the second SRTA conference, the first being held in Shenzhen, where SIGNAL was represented by its Founder and Executive Director, Carice Witte. Attending the conference were eighty participants from Asian nations, including high level officials, influential think tank leaders, media elites and business people from Maritime Silk Road countries. SIGNAL was honored to be invited to the 2016 conference and to be represented by Meron Medzini of Hebrew University.

Delegation from Shenzhen visits Israel

Shenzhen, one of the four major cities in China and located just north of Hong Kong, is the location of some of the most important Chinese investment firms. As such, SIGNAL was honored to welcome a delegation to Israel from August 30th-31st from The Development Research center of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government and Shenzhen Zhongyi Chengtou Investment Co. Ltd.

On the first day of the visit, the delegation met with Mr. Dorian Barak, CEO of Indigo Global, and member of SIGNAL’s Executive Board, who gave an introduction to Israel’s business, innovation and technology environment.

Second Chinese Lecture Tour of Avinoam Idan

As part of our Academic Seminar series and visiting lecturer program at SIGNAL’s Israel Studies Programs (ISP), Avinoam Idan participated in second lecture tour to universities across China. Over a period of more than three weeks, from September 24th-October 18th, lectures were delivered at seven universities in five cities. This is Dr. Idan’s second tour, having previously in November 2014 delivered lectures to Israel Studies Programs.

Dr. Avinoam Idan is a political geographer teaching at the Energy Studies Program of Haifa University and research fellow at John Hopkins University. Prior to serving as an academic, he work for many years in the Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, including in the Israeli embassy in Moscow in the final years of the Soviet Union and was involved in establishing Israel’s diplomatic ties with the Caucasus and Central Asian region.


Inaugural SIGNAL@IPS – In late September SIGNAL co-hosted Israel’s first China Policy Conference with the Interdisciplinary Center’s Institute for Policy & Strategy (IPS).

Click here to download PROGRAM.

Click here to download FULL AGENDA.


New Center for Middle East and African Studies (CMEAS) website launched

LogoThe Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (CMEAS) based at the School of International Studies, Renmin University is launching a new website. The Center was jointly founded in 2014 by Renmin University and SIGNAL. The purpose of the Center is to advance an understanding of the Middle East within China. Activities will include promoting collaborative research between scholars from China and the Middle East and holding symposiums and conferences.

In November 2014, CMEAS held an inaugural roundtable seminar titled” The Geopolitical Transitions in the Middle East: The perspectives from China and Israel.” The aim of the Symposium was to explore the geopolitical changes in the Middle East and the developing relations between China and the region. Nearly 30 international experts, from more than 10 institutions participated in this seminar, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, the International Institute for Counter Terrorism, Ben Gurion University and Gatestone Foundation.

The first research project under the auspices of the Center was conducted in the summer of 2014 by Israeli scholars, Prof. Meron Medzini (Hebrew U) and Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum (Bar Ilan U and BESA scholar). While in Beijing they worked closely with their counterpart, SIS Assistant Dean, Cui Shoujun, Director of CMEAS, researching the relevance of the China-Taiwan Cross Straits Relations Model to the Israeli-Arab conflict. CMEAS is presently in the early stages on a second project on counter-terrorism led by Prof. Alex Bligh (Ariel University) and Prof. Eyal Lewin (Ariel University) in collaboration with Prof. Cui Shoujun (Renmin University).

Belt & Road Conference at Northwest University, Xi’an

From 8th-9th May, a conference on “The Current Situation in the Middle East and the Belt and Road Initiative” was held at Northwest University in Xi’an. Presenting at the  conference were the SIGNAL delegation including Eyal Zisser, Vice Rector of Tel Aviv University and former director of the Moshe Dayan Center, Jonathan Spyer, Director of the Rubin Center at IDC Herzliya and Fellow at the Middle East Forum, Meir Litvak, Head of the Iran Center at Tel Aviv University.

NDRC Seminar in Israel Co-hosted by SIGNAL

On Jan 21, SIGNAL, in coordination with the Chinese Embassy in Israel and the Moshe Dayan Center, hosted the Deputy Director of the National Development and Reform Commission *(NDRC) and former advisor to Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, **Ning Jizhe, for a discussion of China’s 13th 5-year plan. Mr. Ning spoke to a diverse panel of Israeli researchers and Senior policy fellows including; Dr Shalom Wald, Prof Meron Medzini, Mr Yoram Schweitzer and others. Mr. Ning was joined by Dai Yuming, from the Chinese Embassy in Israel.

DayancentermidIn his remarks Mr. Ning elaborated on a variety of topics from; shifting trends in Chinese GDP and economic diversification to expanding global partnerships with numerous strategic regional players, while increasing green energy technology research & development through multinational cooperation. As a point of note Mr. Ning made specific reference to a desire to increase cooperation between Israeli research centers and those of the NDRC. Mr. Ning expressed the NDRC’s appreciation of SIGNAL’s role in facilitating productive and essential dialog between Chinese officials and the Israeli academic community in both China and Israel.

SIGNAL looks forward to continuing its work with top Chinese Israeli intellectuals and policy makers such as the NDRC delegation to build forums for exchanges of ideas. That The Seminar on China’s 13th 5-year proved once again that Israel and SIGNAL are committed to building the core relationships necessarily to promote a strong and comprehensive approach to Chinese affairs.

The Geography of Sino-Israeli Relations

The academic article, The Geography of Sino-Israeli Relations, was recently translated through a cooperation between SIGNAL and the language department of the China University of Petroleum. This analysis and comprehensive history of the Sino-Israel relationship was written by Binyamin Tjong-Alvares, a SIGNAL Fellow and former managing director.

Originally published in the Jewish Political Studies Review in 2012, the article appeared both in hard copy and on the website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs – a leading independent research institute specializing in public diplomacy and foreign policy. Founded in 1976, the Center has produced hundreds of studies and initiatives by leading experts on a wide range of strategic topics. The recent former JCPA Director, Amb. Dore Gold, is currently the Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

First Translation Competition at SISU

The first Translation Competition at a SIGNAL Israel Studies Program took place this year at Sichuan International Studies University (SISU). Competing to produce the most accurate translation of essays on Israel and the Middle East, students receive guidance from faculty advisors. SIGNAL commends SISU for initiating a competition that is training students in the subtleties needed for top quality translations. We are very pleased to share the 2015 winning translation of the inaugural event here.

transsisuCongratulations to first place winner, Wang Jiao 王姣), 2nd-year Master’s degree student in the English literature department at SISU.

The article translated for the competition is the statement of former British Infantry Colonel Richard Kempe, which he submitted to the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict.

In his paper, Col. Kemp analyzes the actions of the Israel Defense Forces during the conflict and the alternative steps the IDF could have taken. Col. Kemp bases his conclusions on observations on the ground during the conflict, direct interaction with IDF soldiers involved in combat, and conversations with Israeli legal, military and political leaders. The author argues that the IDF actions during the operation of summer 2014 were dictated by the responsibility of the government to protect its population.

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