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China, Israel agree to advance innovation cooperation

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds a welcome ceremony for visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, March 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beijing on Monday, vowing to advance innovation cooperation.

Li suggested the two sides to beef up cooperation in areas of basic science, modern agriculture, clean energy and biomedicine.

He urged the two sides to speed up negotiation on the establishment of a bilateral free trade area, so as to send out a clear signal of safeguarding free trade.

China is ready to work with Israel to push forward infrastructure cooperation, such as ports and light rail projects, and explore possibility of cooperation in third-party market, he said.

As a mutual friend of Israel and Palestine, China has no private interest and hopes to see peaceful coexistence of the two sides at an early date, said Li.

He hoped that the two sides would adhere to the right direction of the two-state solution to restart the peace talks as soon as possible.

China will continue to work with international community to play a constructive role for the peace, stability and development of the Middle East, said the premier.

Netanyahu said Israel is willing to strengthen innovation cooperation with China in areas including smart vehicle, modern health care, clean energy, telecommunications, marine fishery, agriculture and water conservation.

Israel hopes to accelerate negotiation on bilateral free trade area, so as to expand two-way investments, he said, adding that Israel is ready to enhance education cooperation with China to support their innovation partnership.

He said Israel welcomes Chinese companies to participate in its infrastructure projects and is ready to enhance transportation cooperation with China.

Israel appreciates China's constructive role in the Middle East peace process, said Netanyahu.

After their talks, Li and Netanyahu witnessed the signing of agreements for cooperation in economy, science and technology, commerce and civil aviation.

Netanyahu is paying an official visit to China from March 19 to 22 at the invitation of Li.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]

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