China-Israel cooperation has taken another step forward, this time with the coastal metropolis of Shenzhen looking to the port city of Haifa for help in high-tech and higher education development. Mayor of Shenzhen Xu Qin got an okay from Beijing to add Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav as a senior adviser to his municipality staff, according to a report in the Hebrew daily Maariv.
In 2012, Haifa and Shenzhen became sister cities.
“Shenzhen has chosen independent innovation as the dominant strategy for its future development.,” reads the city’s website.
According to the Maariv report, Shenzen hopes to mimic Haifa’s achievements in science and technology – the Technion Israel Institute of Technology is based in Israel’s northern city.
Yahav said his appointment was “a great honor” especially as Haifa is a city with just 300,000 residents and Shenzhen has over 10 million.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a state visit to China in 2013.
“China has massive industrial and global reach. Israel has expertise in every area of high technology,” said Netanyahu during a press conference. “And I think the combination could be very very beneficial to China and of course to Israel.”