When asked in China about the secret to the Jewish people’s wisdom, Israel’s President writes, “Our secret is learning. It’s important to ask questions.”
By Yori Yalon
President Shimon Peres marked the end of a successful visit to China on Thursday by officially launching his account on the Chinese answer to Facebook, Weibo, becoming the first Israeli leader with an account on the social networking website.
President Shimon Peres launches his Weibo profile on Thursday – Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO
The ceremony for Peres’ Weibo profile launch took place at the company’s headquarters in Beijing, and in keeping with Chinese culture, Peres hit a gong set up for the occasion. Within minutes, 50 million Chinese surfers visited the presidential page.
“I hope to meet you on my page and to speak directly to the Chinese people, especially the younger generation,” Peres said. He then responded to surfer questions using the website’s chat feature. Peres was accompanied by two of China’s top bloggers, who boast millions of followers.
Most of the questions directed at Peres had to do with his life history and with Israeli technology. “What is the secret to the wisdom of the Jewish people,” one surfer asked. Peres responded, “Our secret is learning. It’s important to ask questions, to cast doubt, to think creatively outside of the box and to learn about issues in depth. Our secret is based on high quality education.”
Peres then took to the podium and encouraged Chinese tourism to Israel. The president pointed out top tourist destinations, saying, “We have the Dead Sea where you can float, Jerusalem where you can learn history and a tradition like no other.”
President Shimon Peres’s Weibo page – Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO
Peres also received some more difficult questions during his first official Weibo chat, with some surfers asking about limits in place on Israeli arms sales to China. “Israel and China have a wide range of cooperation,” Peres responded. “And I have come to China to deepen and expand our trade in technology, medicine, high-tech and science rather than arms.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=16813