by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Aug 14, 2011
China's chief of staff General Chen Bingde on Sunday met his Israeli counterpart General Benny Gantz and Defence Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv, the ministry said in a statement.
"The defence minister and the Chinese chief of staff discussed the situation in the region, relations with the Palestinian Authority and the situation in Pakistan and Iran, as well as the fight against global terrorism," it said without elaborating.
During his trip Chen will "meet senior security officials and attend strategic and security briefings, visit the IDF Urban Warfare Training Centre, and observe a display of IDF forces training," an Israeli military spokesman said earlier.
Israeli army radio has described the visit as "historic."
The Israeli military declined to say how long Chen would be in the country.
In June, Barak made a rare visit to Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders, at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie.
Defence ties had been frosty after US intervention twice scuttled Israeli arms deals with China: the sale of advanced Phalcon spy planes in 2000 and of spare parts for Israeli-built Harpy drones five years later.
Chen's visit comes as Israel seeks to convince the international community to vote against a bid by the Palestinians for recognition of a state at the UN General Assembly in September.
Israel has in the past also sought tougher measures from Beijing, a key UN Security Council member, against Iran's controversial nuclear programme.
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Israel pressured to cut defense spending
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Aug 12, 2011
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is under growing pressure to slash defense spending in the face of mushrooming domestic protests against the high cost of living at a time when the military seeks hefty increases to counter a host of security threats. The Yediot Ahronot daily reported Thursday that Netanyahu opposes cutting the defense budget, currently pegged at $13 billion, or ... read more
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