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Israeli military chief of staff to visit China

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IAN DEITCH | May 17, 2012 12:55 PM EST | AP


JERUSALEM — An Israeli official says the country's military chief of staff will be making an official visit to China in a sign of warming security ties between the countries.

The military official said Thursday that Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz will leave for China soon but would not give a date. He spoke on condition of anonymity according to protocol.

China is a top Israeli trading partner and relations between the two have been good. But ties suffered over the last decade when the U.S scuttled deals for reconnaissance aircraft to Beijing.

An Israeli ban on arms sales to China remains intact

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited China in 2011, the first such visit in a decade. Chinese chief of staff Chen Bingde visited Israel soon after.