Israeli Minister-Counselor to China Amram Arie Olmert said in Harbin Thursday he appreciated China's work to preserve Jewish culture.
After visiting his grandfather's and other relatives' tombs in the Huangshan Jewish graveyard in this capital city of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, he extended his thanks to the Chinese government and the Harbin local government for their contribution to the protection of Jewish cultural relics.
The protection of historic relics played an important role in the general development of a country, he said, emphasizing that the young generation should be well informed of the international and domestic history.
Liu Jun, in charge of the management of the graveyard, said the graveyard was the biggest of its kind in the Far East, and had aroused attention from Jewish people and Jewish culture experts worldwide.
According to Qu Wei, director of the Jewish Research Center under the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, the Jewish people spent nearly a century in Harbin, forming an integrated Jewish community with the population surpassing 20,000.
The Jewish culture relics preserved in Harbin has been a prominent part of the Jewish culture heritage worldwide, he said.
An Israeli delegation headed by Israeli ambassador to China Yehoyada Haim visited Harbin to discuss with the governmental officials and entrepreneurs the issues concerned with cultural exchanges and agricultural cooperation.
(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2003)