Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Literature, Art and Human Development (ICLAHD 2020)

China and Israel and the ‘Period of Silence,’ 1955-1978

Authors
Tianqi Feng
Corresponding Author
Tianqi Feng
Available Online 17 December 2020.
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.201215.435How to use a DOI?
Keywords
China, Diplomacy, History, Israel, Middle East, Sino-Israeli Relations
Abstract

In the history of Sino-Israeli relations, this period (from 1955 to 1978) is often treated by scholars as a kind of “period of silence,” when China and Israel had no contact with one another. The lack of contact between the two countries during this period has translated into a lack of research about this period. My research, in contrast, digs deep into the history of this period, exploring the little contact that did occur and the positions of the two countries toward each other. Besides exploring unexplored history, this paper challenges the claim that this “period of silence” in Sino-Israeli relations (1955-1978) was as uneventful as has been suggested. I have two objectives. First, I intend to show that there was indeed some contact after the Bandung Conference. The Chinese government and the Israeli Communist Party, which was represented in Israel’s parliament but not in its government, maintained contact throughout the late 1950s. It was only when China and the Soviet Union broke with one another that this contact came to an end. Yet even after this contact ceased, there was an exchange of letters between the two countries’ governments in the early 1960s. My second objective is to show that while all Sino-Israeli contact ended after this anticlimactic correspondence, the two countries may have been silent with each other but they were not silent about each other. Accordingly, from the mid-1960s, China’s actions in the Middle East affected Israel directly, as China became the principal non-Arab supporter of Israel’s main non-state enemy, the PLO, and Israel, in response, ended its longstanding support for Chinese membership in the United Nations (UN) and began supporting Taiwan’s claim to be China’s official representative. The purpose of this paper is to correct the neglect of Sino-Israeli relations in academia from the mid-1950s to the end of 1970s, and to make a description of a more complicated and eventful Sino-Israeli relationship than people generally know.

Copyright
© 2020, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

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Volume Title
Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Literature, Art and Human Development (ICLAHD 2020)
Series
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research
Publication Date
17 December 2020
ISBN
978-94-6239-304-2
ISSN
2352-5398
DOI
https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.201215.435How to use a DOI?
Copyright
© 2020, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

Cite this article

TY  - CONF
AU  - Tianqi Feng
PY  - 2020
DA  - 2020/12/17
TI  - China and Israel and the ‘Period of Silence,’ 1955-1978
BT  - Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Literature, Art and Human Development (ICLAHD 2020)
PB  - Atlantis Press
SP  - 262
EP  - 266
SN  - 2352-5398
UR  - https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.201215.435
DO  - https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.201215.435
ID  - Feng2020
ER  -