In an indication of strengthening Israeli-Sino relations, Chief of General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army General Chen Bingde is due to visit Israel next week. The visit is taking place at the invitation of IDF Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz.
Bingde’s trip comes after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited Beijing in June, the first trip of an Israeli defense minister to China in 10 years. According to defense officials, Bingde’s trip does not signify changes in Israel’s defense policy with respect to China. In recent years, Israel considerably downgraded its defense relations with Beijing under US pressure, and Israeli firms are forbidden from selling arms to China.