On January 24, 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao exchanged congratulatory messages with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Hu said in the message the friendly exchanges between the Chinese and the Jewish people go back to ancient times. Since the forging of diplomatic ties 20 years ago, friendly cooperative ties between China and Israel have been developing continuously, and the exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in politics, economy and trade, culture, science and technology, agriculture and education have yielded fruitful results and brought tangible benefits to the two countries and the two peoples, Hu said. China attaches great importance to advancing Sino-Israeli ties and is ready to make joint efforts with Israel to take the celebration of the 20th anniversary as an opportunity to further consolidate the traditional Sino-Israeli friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, increase personnel exchanges on multiple levels, and promote a continuous development of friendly Sino-Israeli cooperative relations, he said.
For his part, Peres said Israel and China established diplomatic ties 20 years ago, which brought the friendship between the two countries to a historic high. He believed that the Israeli-Chinese friendship, which is based on a shared history, common values and ancient culture and tradition, will prevail. Peres said his country gives top priority to its ties with China in all areas, and is willing to conduct mutually beneficial cooperation with China in science and technology and other fields and enhance youth dialogue so as to build up the friendship and partnership between both sides. In his message, Peres wished the Chinese people a "Happy New Year" in the Year of the Dragon.
On the same day, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also exchanged congratulatory messages with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Wen said in the message their bilateral friendly cooperative relations have continued to grow over the last 20 years. Political exchanges between the two countries have been increasingly close, economic and trade cooperation has continued to flourish, and pragmatic cooperation in culture, science and technology, and agriculture has been fruitful, Wen said. China and Israel have their own advantages, as well as huge potential and broad prospects for cooperation, the Chinese premier said. China is ready to continue to expand and deepen its friendly cooperation of mutual benefit with Israel and raise Sino-Israeli ties to a new high, Wen said.
For his part, Netanyahu said the Chinese and the Jewish people have always been friends. During the past 20 years, China and Israel succeeded in forging a stable and diversified partnership, he said. The Israeli side is ready to fully explore the potential of bilateral ties and continue to expand cooperation in science and technology, health, agriculture and environmental protection technologies and other fields with China, Netanyahu said. He believed that there will be more opportunities to further consolidate the friendship between the two peoples and deepen bilateral cooperation in the future.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also exchanged congratulatory messages.