China and Israel: Chinese, Jews; Beijing, Jerusalem (1890-2018)

China and Israel: Chinese, Jews; Beijing, Jerusalem (1890-2018)

from 29.95

Aron Shai

Series: Jewish Identities in Post-Modern Society
ISBN: 9781618118943 (hardcover) / 9781618118967 (paper)
Pages: approx. 300 pp.
Publication Date: January 2019


In the fascinating story of Israel-China relations, unique history and culture intertwine with complex diplomacy and global business ventures – some of which have reached impressive success. China and Israel is a living collage that addresses these issues from a point of view that combines the professional and the personal. This book paints a broad picture of China-Israel relations from an historical and political perspective and from the Jewish and Israeli angle. To tell this story, Shai relies on rare documents, archival materials and interviews with individuals who were active in forming the relationship between these two states. He profiles Morris Cohen who, according to some, served as Sun Yat-sen’s personal advisor; gynecologist Dr. Ya’akov Rosenfeld, who rose to the rank of general in the Chinese Red Army and ended his career as a family physician in Tel Aviv; and international business magnate Shaul Eisenberg, otherwise known as “the king of China", who executed the first Sino-Israeli military contacts. Shai also covers the attempts of major Israeli companies and business people to enter China, and describes the opportunities and risks involved when China purchases companies that are part of Israel’s national infrastructure.

Aron Shai is Shaul N. Eisenberg Professor of East Asian Studies and Pro-Rector of Tel Aviv University. He earned his Ph.D. from St. Antony's College, Oxford University. His research focuses on imperialism in Asia, China’s role in international relations, diplomatic and economic history, and Sino-Israeli relations. He lectured at international conferences, and served as guest professor at Oxford, Paris, Toronto, New York and in China. Shai has authored and edited numerous books in Hebrew, English, and Chinese, including Origins of War in the East; From the Opium War to Mao Zedong; Britain and China 1941-1947; The Fate of British and French Firms in China 1949-1954; and Twentieth Century China; and Zhang Xueliang – The General Who Never Fought. He has also written two historical novels.

Table of Contents

Preface: My Road to China
Structure and Contents

Introduction: Jewish Communities in China
  The Kaifeng Community
  Judaism as a Popular Religion
  The Harbin Community
  Religious, Cultural, and Social Institutions
  Harbin Jews Following the Japanese Occupation
  The Baghdadi Sephardic Community in Shanghai
  Institutions of the Baghdadi Jewish Community in Shanghai
  The Russian Jewish Community in Shanghai
  The European Refugee Community in Shanghai
  Decline of the Shanghai Communities
  The Hong Kong Community
  Other Jewish Communities in China

Chapter One: 1948 to 1955—The Early Years of Trial and Error
  Mutual Recognition and Establishment of Diplomatic Relations
  Israel Recognizes the People’s Republic of China
  Initial Ties
  Burma, Russia, and India Help Initiate Contact
  The Israeli Commercial Delegation to China
  A Missed Historical Opportunity?

Chapter Two: Moshe and Ya’akov—Two Jews in China
  Moshe (Morris) Cohen
  Jacob Rosenfeld

Chapter Three: 1948 to 1956—Behind the Scenes
  Members of Leftist Israeli Parties Visit China
  Other Israeli Visits to China
  The Parliamentary Front in Israel

Chapter Four: 1955 to 1978—No Contact
  The Israel Communist Party and the Chinese Communist Party: The Great Leap Backward
  View from Afar: “Going Behind the Wall”

Chapter Five: Clandestine Contact—Shaul Eisenberg in China
  Global Business
  Business in Korea
  On the Road to Israel
  One Billion Chinese Await
  Eisenberg’s Influence on China–Israel Relations
  After Eisenberg’s Death

Chapter Six: How to Lose Money in China—The Stories of Four Israeli Companies
  Israeli Business people Try Their Luck in China
  The Case of Sano
  Not Worth Peanuts—The Case of Osem
  Lessons Learned
  A Guide to Losing Money in China: The Next Generation
  David Shield
  Kardan Israel Ltd.

Chapter Seven: 1992 to 2018: Beijing and Jerusalem—The Last Battle?
China, Israel, and Hong Kong
Patience Pays Off: Gradual Establishment of Diplomatic Relations
China–Israel Relations Since 1992
Despite All, a Relationship

Chapter Eight: China, Israel, and Other Spheres
  China, the Palestinians, and the Middle East
  China’s Relations with North Korea
  Relations between Israel and Taiwan (Nationalist China)
  China in the International Sphere
  The Future of Israel–China Relations

Chapter Nine: Me, China, and Everyone Else
  The Confucius Institute: Founding, Crises, and Return to Routine
  Signs of Conciliation
  Disseminating the Chinese Language
  More Questions, This Time from Guangzhou

Chapter Ten: Review So Far, and What’s Next?


Archives, Official Sources, and Sources without an Author
Hebrew and Chinese sources
English sources
Books and periodicals (Hebrew)
Books and periodicals (English and Chinese)