Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Tuesday signed an agreement whereby her Chinese hosts granted Israel "approved destination" status. The designation makes it legal for tour agencies to now sell tour packages to groups of Chinese tourists.
Israel has been trying to obtain "approved destination" status from Beijing for years. A Foreign Ministry statement said the ability for Chinese to now visit Israel in large organized groups would further strengthen the ties between the two nations.
While in China, Livni also received a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Foreign Ministry's Center for International Cooperation, MASHAV, which has worked closely with China's Association for International Exchange of Personnel (CAIEP) over the past 15 years.
The personnel exchange program has seen more than 20 Israeli experts sent to China to aid in the fields of agriculture, technology and medicine. During the same period, more than 600 Chinese have come to Israel to receive advanced training.