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.
The paper which can be found here in English and here in Chinese tells how People’s Republic of China was formally founded in October 1949, only eleven months after the state of Israel. Although situated on opposite ends of the Asian continent, both nations began as poor, agrarian societies, early in their formation facing many similar challenges such as territorial threats. However, explains the author, the geographic distance between the Middle Kingdom and the Holy Land, their location vis-à-vis Europe and the West, and their contrasting experience with the former colonial powers decisively influenced their world outlook, keeping these two countries at arm’s length for decades. The United States in particular played a decisive role as an impediment to the natural growth of a stronger relationship between these two ancient nations that have much in common. Now, tells Tjong-Alvares, as China and Israel complete the twentieth year of diplomatic relations, and as the Sino-Israeli relationship appears more independent from American influence than ever before, the two nations are finally poised to explore the abundance of synergies that bind them through deeper and broader interaction and a shared goal of bringing those benefits to the wider world.
The Author is currently an international business news anchor for the i24 international language television channel on Israel.