Chinese VP kicks off visit to Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — China's vice president has kicked off a trip to Israel, in a signal of the warming ties between the two countries.

Wang Qishan arrived on Monday for a three-day trip, highlighted by his participation in a joint summit of innovation cooperation that he will co-host with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Wang, a confidant of President Xi Jinping's, is one of the most senior Chinese officials to visit Israel since the countries established diplomatic relations in 1992.

Wang visited Jerusalem's Old City before he was welcomed by Netanyahu at the prime minister's official residence for dinner Monday.

Israel and China have become close trade partners, with China showing interest in Israeli developments in agriculture, water and other environmental technologies.