(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's greetings to the Chinese people on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dragon:
Schin Niy'an Kuay Leh!
On behalf of the people of Israel, I want to wish the people of China a happy and healthy New Year.
I know that according to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Dragon symbolizes success and good fortune. And in the coming year, I am sure that the people of China will continue to amaze the world with the remarkable pace of your progress and prosperity.
But I am also confident that the coming year will bring a deepening of the great friendship between our two peoples. This year, Israel and China mark twenty years of diplomatic relations between our two countries.
But the friendship between the Jewish and Chinese people stretches back many centuries. Jewish communities have flourished in China - in Kaifeng, in Harbin, in Tianjin and in Shanghai. And the Jewish people will never forget that in our greatest hour of need, China became a safe haven for thousands of Jews.
But the relationship between our people is not simply about the past. It is about the future, We have barely scratched the surface of what our two great civilizations can do together - in technology, in agriculture, in science and medicine and in so many other fields.
We are two ancient peoples, whose values and traditions have left an indelible mark on humanity. But we are also two peoples embracing modernity - two dynamic civilizations transforming the world.
May the coming year be a year of security, prosperity and peace for the people of China. And may the coming year be a year in which the friendship between our two remarkable countries reaches new heights.
Happy Year of the Dragon!
Long Niy'an Ji Shyiang!