Israel’s Prime Minister Reportedly Visiting China Soon

Israel's Prime Minister Reportedly Visiting China Soon

( – In 2021, for the first time in more than a decade, Israel had a new prime minister. The experiment, however, did not last long. In December 2022, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu once again took control of the country.

The prime minister immediately began overhauling the government. One of the plans involves the judiciary, and it’s highly controversial. US President Joe Biden and Netanyahu are at odds over the judicial overhaul. Recently, the PM revealed he’s being courted by China.

The Invitation

On Tuesday, June 27, Netanyahu met with a US congressional delegation in Tel Aviv. During the meeting, the prime minister gave the Americans an update on the security situation in the Middle Eastern nation and thanked the US for its support. He also told them that China extended an invitation to him for an official state visit.

The Associated Press reported that Netanyahu’s office said the “projected visit” to the communist nation would be the fourth time he has gone as prime minister. Further, his staff made it clear that this isn’t a surprise to the Biden Administration. According to the report, the PM notified the US president about the invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping in May.

China has been working hard to expand its influence in the Middle East. Earlier in June, Xi hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In February, the Chinese president held talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Saudi Arabia and China have also developed deep ties. It’s a story that’s not unlike Xi’s expansion of influence in Central and South America or other places around the globe. However, the possible meeting with Israel comes at a time when Biden and Netanyahu are on shaky ground.

US-Israel Relations

At the beginning of the year, a proposal to overhaul the Israeli judicial system picked up steam. Mass protests rocked the Jewish state as citizens called on the government to not move forward with the plan. Critics said it would weaken the country’s democracy by rendering the High Court of Justice useless.

The White House began pressuring Netanyahu to stop the judicial overhaul. President Joe Biden spoke out against the controversial plan, saying its ally “cannot continue down this road.” He said he was “very concerned” about the proposal. Netanyahu’s government has also aggressively settled in the West Bank.

The invitation from China is significant because Biden has not yet invited Netanyahu to the US for a state visit. Generally, these visits between the allies are standard and not controversial. The fact that the Chinese government has issued the invite first shows just how bad relations are at the moment.

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