Officials said Barak has been hosted by his Chinese counterpart, Gen.
Liang Guanglie, and would also meet the nation's military chiefs, Middle East Newsline reported. They said
Barak's visit required months of preparation as well as consultations with
the United States, which pressed the Jewish state to end arms exports to
"The discussions will not include weapons sales," the official said.
In the 1980s and 1990s, China was deemed a major defense client of
Israel. But as prime minister in 2000, Barak, under intense U.S. pressure,
agreed to cancel the sale of Israel's Phalcon airborne early-warning system
to the Chinese Air Force.
The AEW cancellation, which included $350 million in Israeli
compensation, led to a decline in Chinese-Israeli defense trade. In 2006,
the United States pressured Israel to cancel a project to upgrade its Harpy
unmanned aerial vehicle to China as well as end all other defense and
security exports to Beijing.
China has been deemed a leading supplier to the ballistic missile
programs of Iran and Syria. Officials said China has also served as a
waystation for the flow of North Korean equipment and technology for missile
and nuclear programs of Middle East states.