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Ties with Israel to be boosted
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China and Israel yesterday vowed to deepen cooperation in building human capacity and talent exchange as part of joint efforts to boost bilateral relations.

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of their talent exchange program - carried out between Israeli Foreign Ministry's MASHAV and China's State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA).

MASHAV was set up as a division of the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 1958 to share Israel's expertise in various fields with other countries.

About 2,000 Chinese professionals from areas such as irrigation, dairy, anti-desertification and livestock farming have taken part in workshops or on-the-spot courses since the MASHAV program began in China in 1992, SAFEA Director-General Ji Yunshi said.

About 600 Chinese managerial staff and technicians have attended the training program in Israel, and more than 20 Israeli experts have been invited to work in China.

The MASHAV program in China "has become a signature project and symbol of the friendly and cooperative ties between China and Israel", Ji said.

"As the biggest developing country, China needs to learn from other countries their successful experience and expertise in fields such as economic development, social progress and scientific and technological innovation," Ji said.

"The successful program demonstrates the improvement in our bilateral relations and I hope the two countries will strengthen cooperation and exchange in other fields," visiting Israeli Vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said yesterday at a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of MASHAV.

Livni suggested China and Israel cooperate on building human capacity and jointly extend the program to other developing countries, especially African nations.

Livni, on a three-day visit to China, is scheduled to meet Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi today.

(China Daily October 30, 2007)

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