World Bulletin / News Desk
Visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met his Chinese counterpart Monday and called for efforts to promote global stability, amid political turmoil back home.
The meeting was part of a three-day trip by the Israeli leader marking 25 years of diplomatic relations. He is expected to meet President Xi Jinping Tuesday.
Netanyahu was accompanied by 90 businesspeople -- the largest Israeli business delegation ever to visit China, according to Chinese state broadcaster CGTN.
They met executives from some of China's largest corporations including Internet giants Baidu and Alibaba, said a statement from the Israeli prime minister's office.
But the economic mission has largely been overshadowed by a dispute that erupted between the prime minister and a key coalition partner just before his arrival in China.
Netanyahu announced on Israeli public radio Sunday that he would be abandoning an agreement with Moshe Kahlon, the finance minister, to form a new public broadcasting authority to supplant the current one.
Local media reports said Netanyahu told his cabinet ministers he would dissolve the coalition government led by his Likud party if Kahlon does not comply -- a threat that some are calling an attempt to delay his possible indictment.
The prime minister has denied wrongdoing in two corruption investigations that are expected to be concluded in the coming weeks.
Trade between China and Israel has flourished since diplomatic ties were established in 1992.
China's total investment in Israel exceeds six billion dollars, and Israeli-designed technologies are used across the world's second largest economy.
The two countries began free trade negotiations last year.
Israel has largely focused its relationship with China on economics to avoid straining its strategic ties with the United States, analysts said.
"Their common interests are business, the Silk Road initiative and scientific innovation," Pan Guang, the dean of Shanghai's Center for Jewish Studies, told AFP.
"Both sides know their differences on the Middle East peace process, and they don't want to emphasise those differences."
In a speech to the Arab League in January 2016, Xi expressed support for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, noting that China "understands the legitimate aspirations of Palestine to integrate into the international community".
After his election as president in 1982, Bachir Gemayel was killed by car bomb in Beirut
Israel has occupied most of Syria’s Golan Heights since 1967 Arab-Israeli war
Group of outlawed gunmen clash with security near Oases area and kill 14 policemen
Longtime allies, Hamas and Tehran recently reconciled following years-long falling-out over Syria
21-year-old Ibrahim Halawa had been among hundreds detained in aftermath of Egypt's 2013 military coup
7th round of talks will discuss regulations for release of hostages and prisoners
'Its infrastructure, international airport and government facilities – it’s all game,' Naftali Bennett tells for Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem
Israeli forces close 8 Palestinian media companies in raids, accusing them of 'incitement'
Emirates News Agency confirms incident but does not specify what type of aircraft was involved in crash
Israel accused Iran of using Syrian conflict to establish military positions there
"Police forces have dismantled a band of six persons and seized 100,000 fake visas for Arbaeen" which this year falls on November 9, Tehran's police chief Hossein Rahimi said.
Israel advances plans for first new settler homes in Hebron in 15 years
Kuwait continues to play mediating role between Qatar and Saudi-led bloc of Arab states
"The Qatari regime has honoured me by freezing all my bank accounts," Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani tweeted.