Israel-China university collaboration boosts ties

Two top universities from Israel and China announced recently that they are starting a US$300 million research project focused on nanotechnologies, the latest move in booming ties between the Jewish state and the Asian giant, writes Ariel David for Associated Press.

Tel Aviv University and Beijing's Tsinghua University said they would exchange graduate students and faculty members to work in a joint research centre based at the two institutions. The cooperation initially will focus on nanotechnology, particularly with medical and optics applications, but may later be expanded to other areas including raw materials, water treatment and environmental issues, officials from both sides said at the Israeli university.

Israel is still a tiny partner for the Chinese giant, but trade between the two countries has been growing, reaching US$8.4 billion last year, compared with US$6.7 billion in 2010, according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics. Beijing seeks access to new technologies in fields where Israel is considered a leader, including agriculture, water desalination and medicine, while the Jewish state is eager to gain a foothold in the huge Chinese market.
Full report on the ABC News site