Photo Credit: Israel Foreign Ministry on Facebook
Chinese Ambassador to Israel Du Wei with Gilad Cohen, Israel Foreign Ministry.

China’s ambassador to Israel Du Wei was found dead on Sunday at his residence in Herzliya.

Du Wei, 58, who became his country’s ambassador to Israel in March, after representing China in Ukraine, was found dead in his bed. His wife and son are not currently in Israel. Prior to taking office in Israel, he served as ambassador to Kiev. When he arrived in Israel, he was requested to enter home isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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According to reports, there were no signs of violence on his body, and the initial assumption is that he died in his sleep.

His opening message as ambassador to Israel was: “China is the second largest economy in the world and Israel the start-up nation. We have a lot to offer each other, and we have much to achieve through our cooperation. In 2017, leaders of our two countries announced the establishment of the China-Israel Innovative Comprehensive Partnership and unveiled a new chapter for our bilateral relations.”

On Friday, Wang Yongjun, a Chinese embassy official, publsihed an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post in which he rebutted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s warning to Israel to limit its economic ties to China: Before and after his visit to Israel, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made some absurd comments on China, which can be summarized into three ill-intentioned accusations, namely, ‘the origin of Coronavirus is China,’ ‘China hid the information of COVID-19,’ and ‘China’s investments are threats.’ It is imperative for the embassy to make the following response and to set the record straight (see the entire article, Chinese Embassy spokesperson to ‘Post’: COVID-19 antidote is cooperation).

Ambassador Du Wei also said, when he took his new job in March: “The friendly exchanges between Chinese and Jewish peoples date back to one thousand years ago. Our two peoples admired and supported each other, leaving us with numerous touching stories. Over the recent years, the people-to-people exchanges between China and Israel have been growing on a fast track, which injected new vitality to the tree of friendship between our peoples.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.