ADL Leader Meets with Chinese Foreign Minister in Beijing
New York, NY, March 20, 2006 … In one of a series of high-level meetings this week in Beijing, China, Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today met with the Chinese Foreign Minister to discuss Israel-China relations, anti-Semitism and other current issues facing Israel and the Jewish people.
Currently in China heading a delegation of ADL leadership, Mr. Foxman met with Li Zhaoxing, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. They discussed U.S. relations with China, Israel's relationship with China, the Iranian nuclear threat, anti-Semitism in Iran and elsewhere, and the consequences of the recent Hamas victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.
Mr. Foxman and Foreign Minister Li also discussed the possibility of using the history of China's Jews as the basis for a joint educational project centered on the lessons learned in Harbin and Shanghai that would unite the Chinese and Jewish people.
"China is unique in that it is among the few nations of the world to have provided a sanctuary and safe-haven for Jews fleeing persecution," said Mr. Foxman. "The Chinese government's efforts to preserve and maintain the Jewish historical sites in Harbin are a model for respect and understanding."
China provided a safe-haven for Jews, notably in Harbin and Tientsin, where communities were first established by Russian Jews in the late 19th century, and in Shanghai, where Sephardic Jews settled. Harbin served as a refuge for Eastern European Jews fleeing pogroms and the Russian Revolution. The Chinese government now recognizes Jews as an official Chinese ethnic group.
The delegation of 25 key ADL leaders visited the Jewish historical and cultural sites in Harbin City in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. The delegation's Beijing itinerary includes meetings with the Ministers of Culture and State Council Information and the Dean of Beijing University.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.