The Zionist state’s relationship with China is something that has come to public attention with a new Chinese documentary on Israel, although the relationship between Communist China and Israel is of long and strategic duration.

Walk into Israel – the Land of Milk and Honey has been produced by China’s national TV channels in co-operation with Israel state authorities. The title should be a giveaway as to the nature of the series: one of the sustaining myths of Israel is that the superior Jewish settlers made Palestine flourish where once it was just sand occupied by a pack of rag-heads; never mind that Palestine was, before being blessed by the presence Irgun, Haganah, Palmach and Stern, a land of plenty.

The People’s Daily reports of the event launching the series:

An event to mark the launch of the TV documentary series “Walk into Israel – The Land of Milk and Honey,” the first comprehensive TV series about the Jewish civilization and the State of Israel produced by CCTV, was held at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing on July 29.

“The TV documentary series ‘Walk into Israel – The Land of Milk and Honey’ is the most important TV series ever produced in China about Israel and the Jewish People, and it offers the viewer an historical, comprehensive and systematic introduction to the Jewish civilization and Israel,” said Guy Kivetz, Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Israel in Beijing.

“Through this amazing program, which explores and unveils the wonders of the State of Israel and the contributions of the Jewish Civilization to the world, we are now able to present the real and bountiful Israel to the Chinese public. We are sure that this program will enhance the understanding of Israel in China and will therefore further promote friendly relations between the two peoples,” he said.

Amos Nadai, Ambassador of Israel to China, delivered a speech during the launching event.

He said “Israel and China are two great civilizations known for their contributions to mankind and two modern states that share a rich history and many modern challenges. After watching the TV series, people may have a better understanding of the history and development of the 4000-year-old Jewish civilization as well as the rapid development of the modern State of Israel. This series has the potential to enhance mutual understanding and traditional friendship between Chinese and Jewish nations, promote cooperation between the two peoples and jointly build a better future for all.”

Around 450 people, including CCTV Vice President Gao Feng and foreign diplomats were present at the event. The 12-episode HD TV series is now being broadcasted by the CCTV-2 and will be broadcast by CCTV’s other leading channels in the future.[1]

Arutz Sheva, reporting on the documentary, sated:

Ties between Israel and China were virtually non-existent prior to the 1980s due to China’s support for the Muslim world and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The two nations developed military ties in the 1980s, and formally established diplomatic ties in the early 1990s.

Trade between the countries has since surpassed $4 billion per year.[2]

Long History of Sino-Jewish Relations

The Arutz Sheva claim that Sino-Zionist relations are something new is not accurate. There is a long history between Maoist China and Israel, both states emerging at about the same time, and with the same revolutionary Marxist zeal.[3] Israel’s Ambassador to China, Amos Nadai, was more accurate when he referred, as quoted above by the People’s Daily, to the “traditional friendship between Chinese and Jewish nations.”

Rabbinic tradition claims an ancient association between “Jews” and China. Rabbi Jacob S Raisin, writing of the Chinese Jews, stated that “Some medieval commentators state that when Isaiah[4] forecasted the restoration of ‘the land of Sinim’ by the Jews,” he had in mind Hebrews who had crossed the Jordan and who had travelled through the Caucasus, Turkestan and Tibet up to the Yellow River. [5]

During the 1640s there was a revolt against the Ming Dynasty, a dynasty which protected the Jews. The city of Kai-Fung-Foo fell and its Synagogue was destroyed (indicating the revolt was against Jewish influence). A “Jewish Manadarin” named Chao-Yng-Cheng, led an army that retook the city, and he rebuilt the synagogue in 1663. This history appears in engravings on the Synagogue and attests to the great political, commercial and military influence the Jewish community had in China[6] (unless the engravings are an “anti-Semitic forgery”).

The Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars of 1839 and 1858-60 were attempts to kick out the Sassoon dynasty that controlled the opium trade under the protection of the British Empire. The Manchu emperor attempted to stop the trade but the Opium Wars only ended in defeat and the extension of the trade throughout China.

T. V. Soong[7] head of Sassoon’s Bank of China, held numerous important posts in the Kuomintang Government, including those of Governor of the Central Bank of China and Minister of Finance (1928–31, 1932–33); Minister of Foreign Affairs (1942–45); President of the Executive Yüan (1945–47), and premier in 1949. After failing to reconcile Communist and Nationalist factions he moved to the USA.

Soong’s sister, Soong Ch’ing-ling, became prominent in revolutionary politics, and in 1914 she married Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary leader. After Sun’s death (1925) she was elected (1926) to the Kuomintang central executive committee, resigning in 1927 in protest at the expulsion of the Communists. The outbreak (1937) of the Sino-Japanese War reconciled her with the Kuomintang until 1946. From 1949 she served as Vice Chairman of the Government of Communist China.

Another sister, Soong Mei-ling, married Dr Sun’s successor, Chiang Kai-shek in 1927. In 1945 she became a member of the central executive committee of the Kuomintang.[8]

When Dr Sun died in 1925, the Sassoon interests sent T V Soong to offer Chiang Kai-shek $3,000,000 cash, Soong’s own sister as a wife (although Chiang already had a wife and family) and the offer of support for the presidency of China in succession to T V Soong’s late brother-in-law.[9]

Under Chiang Kai-shek, Jewish refugees from Germany filled prominent posts. Dr Bernhard Weiss, former vice president of the police in Berlin presided over the reorganisation of the Chinese police. The Castilian Jewish Encyclopaedia states: “Many German officers of Jewish origin enlisted in Chiang Kai-shek’s army.” Miriam Karnes founded the Chinese women’s battalion. Gen. Moshe Cohen organised the supply for the army[10].

Sino-Zionist Relations

In 2002 Israel and China commemorated ten years of diplomatic relations. This is deceptive. The relationship goes back since the early days of the founding of both Israel and Red China. The People’s Daily reported:

Israel and China have jointly issued a postal souvenir on Thursday to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Israeli Minister of Communication Reuven Rivlin said at the issuing ceremony in Tel Aviv that he was pleased that Israel and China chose a postal and philatelic medium to mark this important event. The minister said: “I believe that the common values that our two ancient nations share, alongside with the cooperation that we have established in so many fields will ensure that our relationship will continue to flourish in the decades to come.”….

Rivlin just came back this week from China after signing an agreement for the sale of two communication satellites for broadcasting and the telecommunications for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing….

Chinese Ambassador to Israel Pan Zhanlin said he was very pleased to witness the significant development of the profound relations between the two countries. He added that it demonstrates the friendship between the two peoples forged during long-standing contacts and the achievements of cooperation made during the past 10 years.

Peres said in his message, “Israel is full of appreciation and gratitude for the warm relations and friendship that China has expressed to the Jewish people over the years.”[11]

Prof. Guang Pan outlined China’s role in the Middle East, of which the following are some of the salient facts in relation to Israel:

During the period 1949-1955, with the exception of Israel, none of the independent Middle Eastern states recognised Red China. In 1950 the Arab League voted to recognise Taiwan rather than the PRC as the legitimate representative of the Chinese people. The Arab states generally also voted against Red China’s admission to the UNO, while Israel supported China. China referred to Middle Eastern leaders as “the anti-revolutionary rulers” and “feudal dictators.” “Even after Egypt’s July Revolution of 1952, Beijing continued to refer to “the anti-revolutionary military dictators” of that country… The only exception to this pattern of condemnation was Israel with its socialist leaders. The Chinese press welcomed the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and accused the British of “agitating” the Arab “anti-revolutionary rulers” to launch an anti-Jewish war. During the 1950s and 60s China sought to influence the Arab states as they became increasingly estranged from the West, due to the pro-Israeli stance of the USA and other states. From the mid-1980s China presented itself as pro-Arab and anti-Israel. However, with the Sino-Soviet break of 1960-61 China’s attitude towards the Soviet allies Egypt and Syria cooled. An anti-Russian attitude was the basis of Chinese relations during the decade of 1966-76. Prof. Guang Pan states:

As an active Middle East diplomacy developed on the basis of anti-Soviet goals, Beijing established diplomatic ties with three pro-Western countries between August and November 1971: Turkey, Iran, and Lebanon. It did not, however, restore contact with Israel, for fear of this harming relations with the Arab world. Nonetheless, China and Israel had in the Soviet Union a common opponent and at one time both were fighting Soviet soldiers—Chinese infantry on the common border with Russia, Israeli pilots over the skies of Egypt and Syria. In 1971, Zhou even told Senator Henry Jackson (Democrat of Washington) that China supported Israel in its efforts against Soviet expansion in the Middle East. After 1971, Beijing backed Egypt’s Anwar as-Sadat, Sudan’s Ja‘far an-Numayri, and other Arab leaders as they expelled Soviet forces from their countries.” [Emphasis added].

From 1977 onward China sought to establish contact with all Middle Eastern states, culminating in the establishment of formal relations with Israel in 1992.[12]

It should be kept in mind that even as China was fostering relations with the Arab states, this anti-Russian strategy was serving Zionist interests in countering the USSR, which had become increasingly antagonistic towards Zionism since Stalin. In particular, Israeli sources were covertly arming China through Shaul Eisenberg, an agent of Mossad,[13] and “the richest man in Israel.” According to Mossad defector Victory Ostrovsky, Eisenberg was “Mossad’s tie-in with China.”

Uri Dan, writing in the New York Post, March 30, 1997, reported that back in 1979 then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin got U.S. approval for authorizing Shaul Eisenberg to undertake a $10 billion 10-year deal to modernize the Chinese armed forces thereby “strengthening the counterbalance to Soviet military might.” Dan describes this deal as “one of the most important in Israeli history” and that “the Chinese insisted on absolute secrecy.”[14]

Israel’s role as a major supplier of arms for China, including sophisticated military equipment originating from the USA, has become a public scandal on several occasions over the past decade.

In 1999 the New York Times reported: “Israel has long had a close, secretive military relationship with China that arms experts say has resulted in billions of dollars of weapons sales in recent years and raised a variety of concerns in the United States.”[15]

Note that The Times stated the Sino-Israeli relationship is close, secret, and of long duration.

Elta, a subsidiary of the Israeli Aircraft Industry, designed Phalcon, a sophisticated radar system for the Chinese Air Force.[16]

In 1999 Howard Phillips reported:

Israel is China’s second-largest supplier. A recent report by Kenneth W. Allen and Eric A. McVadon of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a research organization in Washington, said Israel had provided China with a range of weapons–including electronic components for tanks, communications and optical equipment, aircraft and missiles–during a relationship that began at least two decades ago. Full diplomatic ties were not established until 1997.

Both China and Israel appear to gain military and political benefits from the arms and technology transfer relationship,” the report said. “Besides seeking money from China, some Israeli officials claim the sale of military technology to China will secure Beijing’s agreement not to sell specific weapons to Israel’s enemies in the Middle East.”[17] [Emphasis added].

Note above that the report states that although full diplomatic relations were not established until 1997, a covert relationship involving weapons and technology transfers had been going on since the 1970s.

US protests at Israel’s transfer of advanced military systems to China rings hollow. Those typically lame protests from the world’s leading Israel-fawning state are of the kind typical for public consumption, since the USA was itself engaged at the time in the same relationship with China (as well as having long since approved the secret arms deals with Eisneberg) one report at the time stating of the Clinton Administration:

Unlike his predecessors Democrat or Republican, Mr. Clinton transferred primary legal authority for approving export licenses for advanced U.S. technology from the security-conscious State Department to the politically conscious Commerce Department for the purpose of making such exports easier.

Mr. Clinton is also the first and only president to approve an export waiver authorizing two companies — Loral Space and Communications and Hughes Electronics — to transfer technological secrets in the face of a criminal investigation involving their prior alleged export violations. Mr. Clinton approved personally the export of their data relating to satellite- and missile-launch technology to China over the objections of his secretary of state, the Pentagon and others.[18]

After a deal between China and Israel on advanced weapons technology became public and resulted in cancellation, Israeli and Chinese diplomats met to overcome difficulties. A Jewish newspaper reported:

JERUSALEM — Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer met with Chinese Ambassador Pan Zhanlin in Tel Aviv Monday to discuss the cancellation of Israel’s sale of the Phalcon advanced radar system.

Ben-Eliezer appraised relations between the two countries and glossed over the affair. “We have to see it as an incident inside the family and not as a crisis between two states,” he told Zhanlin. Ben-Eliezer promised to work to strengthen the defense ties with Beijing.

Zhanlin told Ben-Eliezer that he believes China knows how to overcome the difficulties and strengthen the ties, according to a statement issued by the Defense Ministry. China is fully prepared to cooperate with Israel.”[19] [Emphasis added].

The deal only fell through because of public concern expressed in the USA. Note the fraternal relations expressed between the two; “an incident inside the family.”

In 2009 a new Israeli consulate was established in Guangzhou, capital of the flourishing Guangdong province, where much trade between Israel and China is undertaken.[20]

Against such a background of Sino-Israeli relations, that a major Chinese documentary on the wonders and glories of Israel is to have such an extensive airing among the Chinese people and over such a duration of time, launched with much ado by leading Israeli and Chinese luminaries, it seems pertinent to ask whether there are major developments afoot in regard to extending Sino-Zionist collaboration.


[1] Liang Jun, “China-made documentary series spotlights Israel,” People’s Daily Online, July 30, 2010. (http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90782/90873/7087171.html)

[2] Maayana Miskin, “Chinese TV Features Israel, Jewish History,” Arutz Sheva: IsraelNationlaNews.com, July 30, 2010. (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/138868)

[3] K R Bolton, “The Red Face of Israel,” Foreign Policy Journal, August 2, 2010. https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/08/02/the-red-face-of-israel/all/1

[4] Isaiah 6:12.

[5] Rabbi Jacob S Raisin, Gentile Reactions to Jewish Ideals, (New York: Philosophical Library, 1953).

[6] “China,” Jewish Encyclopaedia, (New York, 1903) Vol. IV. See: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=461&letter=C

[7] Soong’s Jewishness is assumed by the fact that Sassoon “only employed Jews,” according to the Jewish Encyclopaedia, 1944.

[8] The Columbia Encyclopaedia, Sixth Edition, 2002 Columbia University Press.

[9] E C Knuth, The Empire of “The City”, (Milwaukee: Knuth, 1946), reprinted 1982, no further publication details, 45, 46, 82.

[10] Castilian Jewish Encyclopaedia, Mexico, 1948, “China.”

[11] “Israel, China Celebrate 10 Years of Diplomatic Ties,” People’s Daily, January 25, 2002.

[12] Guang Pan, “China’s Success in the Middle East,” Middle East Quarterly, Vol. IV, No. 4, December 1997. Guang Pan is professor of political science and history at the Institute of European and Asian Studies in Shanghai, and director of the Chinese Society of Middle East Studies, with a special interest in Jewish, Middle Eastern, and international studies.

[13] Victor Ostrovsky, By Way of Deception: The Making & Unmaking of a Mossad Officer, (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1990), `26.

[14] Michael Collins Piper, “Chinese Espionage and Israel,” an open letter to Congressman Christopher Cox, May 6, 1999. http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg12562.html

[15] “Clinton Administration Presses Israel to Stop Aiding Red China,” New York Times, November 11, 1999, 1.

[16] “Taiwan at risk from transfer of US originated technology,” Howard Phillips Issues & Strategy Bulletin, July 31, 1999. For numerous examples see: http://www.conservativeusa.org/redchina-military-old.htm

[17] “Israeli-Chinese military Co-operation is Bad for America,” Howard Phillips, ibid.

[18] Mark Levin, Washington Times, May 27, 1999, A1.

[19] “China, Israel meet on foiled radar system,” Jewishweekly.com, January 4, 2002. http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/17020/china-israel-meet-on-foiled-radar-system-sale/

[20] Malkah Fleisher, “New Israeli Consulate in China to Boost Partnership, Prosperity,” Arutz Sheva July 6, 2009. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132226