Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrived in Beijing on Tuesday morning kicking off a three-day official visit to China. On the first day of his trip, Olmert visited a China-Israel demonstration dairy farm in the eastern suburbs of Beijing.
After unveiling the cornerstone of a cooperation center for modern dairy technology in the farm, Olmert tried his hand at milking a cow through the farm’s machinery.
The latest Israeli technologies are used in this 18-hectare farm. Its average milk production per head of cattle topped 10 tons per year in 2005 up from under 8 tons when the farm was established in 2001.
"I hope all Chinese dairy farms could follow the system, "said Olmert with a smile.
Olmert also visited the Beijing Olympic venue construction sites located in the northern part of the city.
He showed great interest in the national stadium known as the "bird's nest" and the National Aquatic Center called the "water cube", due to be completed this year.
The Prime Minister spoke of his amazement at seeing such great sports venues, and there is enough time for Beijing to complete its Olympic preparations.
"You are going to have the most spectacular Olympic Games ever. I wish you on behalf of the people of Israel, that the spirit of friendship and good competition will mark this event," Olmert wrote on the visitors' book.
This has been Olmert's first visit to China since taking office last May. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet or hold talks with him respectively on China-Israel relations, regional and international issues of common concern, sources with the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
He is also expected to attend a series of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-Israel diplomatic ties, the sources added.
Prior to his China visit, Olmert highlighted in an interview with Xinhua in Jerusalem that the development of Sino-Israeli relations was "exciting" and "promising".
He stressed that China is not only a big economic power, but an important country playing a significant role in some regional and global issues.
"Anything China can contribute to facilitate the political dialogue is something Israel will always welcome," Olmert said.
As a son of a former Jewish resident in China with both his parents born in Harbin, Olmert said he had a spiritual tie with the Asian country.
"The Chinese culture is part of my heritage and part of my earliest memory as a young kid in the state of Israel," the Israeli Prime Minister said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 10, 2007)