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Exclusive interview with Israeli Ambassador: 10 Years Visa - a milestone for bilateral ties


11-24-2016 15:39 BJT


Li: Will there be more opportunities for young people and students from both side to exchange?

Vilnai: Absolutely, absolutely.This is the goal of the new policy. Let’s talk again about the numbers. Four years ago, we had in Israel about 15,000 tourists from China. It’s nothing, it’s really a “drop”, it’s nothing.

I put the goal of 100,000 for Next, next year in 2018.This year we’re going to finish with 70,000 and I hope that next year will be 85 (thousand) and then 100 (thousand).

It became a goal of our government. It’s adopted by the government and now the goal is to have every year 100,000 Chinese tourists to Israel.

In order to compare it from the United States of America that we have long relations with and we have a huge Jewish community there, second to the Jewish community in Israel. We have every year about 400,000 and now we are talking about 200,000 from China. It’s only a matter of time and the sky is the limit.

The moment the visas are easy to get, the moment every day we have a direct flight from Beijing and from Hong Kong directly to Tel Aviv. I hope in a short while there will (also) be (direct flight) from Shanghai as well, (by) Hainan Airlines, a Chinese airliner and El Al, (Israeli Airlines). This is really wonderful. It’s very easy to visit Israel.

And I really ask people to come to Israelto see Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea.It will be wonderful.

Li:  What can China and Israel do to boost trade and investment ties between the two nations?

Vilnai: To get to know each other as much as we can.And again therefore the visa is so important.

And I used to say that if every Chinese visit Israel for a short visit, 4-5 days, when he comes back to China, he’s in competition with me, because he becomes an Israeli ambassador to China, better than me, because he is a Chinese and he understands China better than me.

So, visit Israel and the sky is the limit. This is the most important thing. (The end)

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