No one in the Israeli aerospace and defence industries is holding his breath.
The visit this week of Gen. Chen Bingde, chief of General Staff of China’s People’s Liberation Army, in Israel as a guest of the Israeli defence forces (IDF) is a very small step forward but the defence relations between the two countries will have to go through a long process until they can be considered “normal”.
The defence ties between the two countries were cut-off completely after Israel was forced by Washington to scrap a deal to sell the Chinese air force a Phalcon-type aerial early-warning system. That was followed by accusations Israel exported weapon systems to China without the approval of Washington.
The Israeli industries lost a big potential market and the visit does not open even a small crack in the heavy door that was slammed a few years ago.