Chinese Jews and China-Israel Relation (Short Report)


This is a passage excerpted from its author’s memoir written recently. The author recounts the role he played in the establishment of official diplomatic relation between the People’s Republic of China and Israel 20 years ago. The memoir cites the historical records that show a considerable Jewish community who migrated from Mumbai, India 1000 years ago and settled down in Kaifeng, the Capital of Song Dynasty (960-1127). The ensuing emperors, personally concerned about these Diasporas, allowed them to stay in the Capital, conferred Chinese surnames upon them, and made official positions in government obtainable by them. Synagogues had stood in Kaifeng for as long as 700 years until they were finally destroyed by a big flood in 1854. Since then they had never been restored. The Jewish community gradually dispersed nationwide and fully intermixed with other ethnicities via intermarriage. Now millions of Chinese people may have distant lineage from Kaifeng Jews. China is one of a few countries that have always been treating Diasporas graciously as compatriots for a millennium.

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Song Jian (2014) Chinese Jews and China-Israel Relation. Chinese Studies, 3, 121-127. doi: 10.4236/chnstd.2014.34016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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