IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz met in China on Monday with his Chinese counterpart, General Chen Bindnge.
Chen, who visited Israel in August, said that his meeting with Gantz “left a deep impression of a strong and advanced army with commitment and patriotism.” He also welcomed the warming relations between the IDF and the Chinese army.
According to an IDF statement released Monday evening, during his meeting with the Chinese commander, Gantz “reviewed the strategic situation and the regional threats before a panel that included Chinese military officials. He expressed his appreciation for China's influence in the international arena and in the region.”
The statement added that “the two chiefs of staff expressed their satisfaction with the relationship between the two armies and the commitment to continue to develop them.”
Military sources told Channel 2 News on Monday that the visit was “strategic and decisive. Gantz was received with great respect and his chemistry with the Chinese defense leadership is great. During the meetings it was decided to cooperate in different military matters.”
Gantz’s visit to China is taking place on the eve of critical talks with Iranian officials in Iraq. It is the first time in 16 years the IDF Chief of Staff has visited China.
Gantz has already won a previously unscheduled private meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping of China. Xi Jinping is expected to be the next president, and the invitation for a personal visit was seen as evidence of the warm way in which the lieutenant-general is being received.
Gantz’s visit to China will include observing a live-fire exercise and a tour of the Jewish museum in Shanghai.