A Chinese artist performs a Chinese traditional Peking opera show at the reception hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv, on Sept. 16, 2018. (Xinhua/Guo Yu)
JERUSALEM, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Embassy in Israel on Sunday held a reception in Israel's coastal city of Tel Aviv to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China which falls on Oct. 1.
The celebrations consisted of a photo exhibition on the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China in 2013, and a marvelous Peking opera show presented to about 50 guests including foreign diplomats, the Chinese people living in Israel, and Israelis from all circles of life.
The Belt and Road Initiative, formally known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Africa and Europe along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
"This year's national day celebration carries special significance, as it also marks the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening Up, an endeavor that transformed China and the world," said Chinese Ambassador to Israel Zhan Yongxin in his welcoming speech.
Zhan also mentioned the first China International Import Expo slated for early November in Shanghai, the financial hub of China.
Around 140 countries and regions, including Israel, and about 3,000 companies have confirmed their participation in the Chinese expo, which is expected to attract 50,000 professional buyers in and outside China.
The Chinese ambassador hailed the fruitful cooperation between China and Israel in the fields of politics, economics and trade, as well as on people-to-people and cultural exchanges, since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992.
For the development of bilateral relations, the high-level exchanges have provided significant guidance, while the intergovernmental cooperation mechanisms have offered stronged institutional guarantees, noted Zhan.
Meanwhile, Israeli Science Minister Ofir Akunis said the Israel-China relations are stronger than ever and Israel "prioritizes" cooperation with China.
Akunis said he will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee during his visit to the Chinese largest city in November to attend China International Import Expo.
China is Israel's largest trading partner in Asia and third largest trading partner in the world, with bilateral trade exceeding 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.