China once offered the Jews a homeland back in 1928

Celebration of Israel’s 60th independence day in Shanghai, China

In modern China, the perception towards the Jewish people is overwhelmingly positive. Even though most Chinese have never met a Jew before, nor do they know what Judaism is all about, the general view is that Jews are very good in business, and that they control the world’s financial system.

The Jews are regarded as a very intelligent race in China, with their achievements widely presented in the Chinese academic, social and political spheres. The notion of Jewish geniuses penetrated all levels of Chinese society, so much so the 50 top selling self-guide books in China all focused on emulating the Jewish path to success.

Amid rising anti-semitism in Europe, Jews increasingly think that the European balance of power should be transferred to China

Two months ago, a retired high ranking Chinese official, Wu Guanzheng, once the 7th most powerful political figure in the country, published his book explaining why are Jews so smart. Within the first week 300,000 copies of the books were distributed and it set off a popular craze in his hometown of Shangrao, a city of 6.5 million in the Chinese province of Jiangxi.

In June 2007, the Chinese province of Heilongjiang organized an “International Forum on Economic Cooperation with World Jews”. The event, which coincided with the annual International Harbin Trade Fair, aimed at bringing “Jewish investment money” to the capital of Heilongjiang province. In their opening speech, Harbin’s city officials praised the Jews as the ‘world’s no. 1 merchant’ with their unique business skills and large number of successful entrepreneurs.

The Chinese affection for Jews have risen sharply in the past 30 years following the country’s rapid economic expansion, but the phenomenon is certainly not recent. A report this week found that China had actually offered the Jewish people a homeland back in 1928, to relocate them from Palestine to China itself, the London Daily Telegraph Archive reported.

The report stated that a Zionist delegation arrived in Peking (Beijing) in July 1928 and filed paperwork with the Chinese authorities for permission to solicit trade in China. Due to an error in translation, the Minister of the Interior at Peking thought the Zionist wanted to purchase land in China for the purpose of re-settling Jews into China. The Chinese authorities quickly promised a special treaty if the Zionists would indicate a site for their proposed homeland and the approximate land area required for the Jewish resettlement.

The Chinese Director of Lands then proceeded to draft an agreement to be sent to the British embassy in Peking, the colonial power who controlled the Mandate of Palestine. Through the British Minister, the Zionist delegate managed to explain he only wanted permission to raise funds among Jews in China for the Palestine up-building work. The Chinese were left disappointed and the permission was granted.

Since 2010, Sino-Israeli relations have blossomed to encompass new forms of commercial, military, political, and cultural exchange. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that “China is one of the few remaining countries where anti-Semitism is absent.” The China People’s Daily, run by the ruling Communist Party, went ahead to publish a claim that “Chinese IQs are about even with Jewish people; together they’re the two smartest ethnicities”.

China offered to move Jews from Palestine into China back in 1928

According to The New York Times, “there are over half a dozen centers in China dedicated to studying Judaism,” and an account on China’s largest microblog site, Sina Weibo, entitled “Revelations of Jewish People’s Wisdom,” has nearly one-and-a-half-million fans. The Times reporter relays that “there is a general feel-good attitude – bordering on fascination – toward Jews in China”.

Throughout histories, the Jews have long suffered discrimination and sometimes violent repression in both Europe and the Muslim world. China welcomed them in 1880 amid the rising anti-semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe, and again opened its door for them in 1940 during the **** occupation of Europe. Shalom Wald, a senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, claimed in his report titled China and the Jewish People: Old Civilizations in a New Era, “in all languages of the Christian and Muslim world, the word Jew carries heavy emotional and polemical baggage anchored in the founding texts of the two religions – the New Testament and the Quran. The Chinese do not carry this baggage.”

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Source: Tablet Mag/Mont Clair

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