13 December 2018 - 6 Tevet 5779 - ו' טבת ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Nimrod Barkan states the case Print E-mail

Late July 2009 expert-level discussions took place between the heads of institutions in Israel and China as part of an ongoing dialogue on research.

The talks centred on the Middle East generally and particularly on the rise of Iran and its influence, and the future of the international order in view of the economic crisis and the rise of China as an economic power.

Asia connection


“This is my first visit to Beijing. My field of expertise is the US and Arab worlds,” says Nimrod Barkan, Director, Policy Research Center, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem as he passed through Hong Kong July 17, 2009. Mr. Barkan provided Jewish Times Asia with insights and opinions on political policies.

“We are becoming more and more aware of the significance of Asia, both politically and economically. We have a strategic dialogue with Japan which takes place every six or seven months. A political dialogue with India taking place every year - once in India and once in Israel; and Vietnam has opened an embassy in Israel and we now have dialogue with Vietnam.

“Beyond this there is also the growing economic dimension [to Asia], the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka might be helpful and there other aspects. Unfortunately, we do not have good relations with Indonesia and Malaysia due to their basic orientation, but we are working on that.

“We need to develop the political relationships besides the economic relationship in order to augment the thriving economic relationship.

“As I am travelling so far to Beijing it was considered useful to start the visit in Hong Kong with its unique status in relation to trade with China and heritage.”

The main issues

“There are several issues of interest to us. The core subjects - the potential danger to Israel from Syria and Lebanon - not so much from the Lebanese society but from Iran's arming for Hezbollah. Also, the significance of the split between those in the Palestinian society who want to make peace and those that want to make war, once again, with the encouragement of Iran, and Hamas.