Chinese envoy to Israel found dead, 'health reasons' likely cause: Beijing

Chinese envoy to Israel found dead, 'health reasons' likely cause: Beijing

FILE PHOTO: China's Ambassador to Ukraine Du Wei attends a news briefing in Kiev
Du Wei speaks during a news briefing in Kiev, Ukraine, Aug 30, 2019. (File photo: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

HERZLIYA, Israel: China's ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, died at his home in Tel Aviv on Sunday (May 17), apparently from natural causes, a statement from Beijing said.

The 57-year-old envoy, who had arrived in Israel in mid-February, was found dead in his home in Herzliya, north of the city, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

A statement from China's foreign ministry said: "The preliminary verdict is that Ambassador Du Wei died unexpectedly of health reasons. The details await further confirmation."

People and Israeli police are seen at the door of China's ambassador to Israel, Du Wei's
People and Israeli police are seen at the door of China's ambassador to Israel, Du Wei's home in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Nir Elias)

Rosenfeld told AFP that officers had gone to the scene as part of "regular procedure", but that police did not conduct an investigation into Du's death.

Du's wife and son were not with him in Israel.

Du had previously served as ambassador to Ukraine, according to his biography on the embassy's website.

Du had undergone a 14-day home quarantine on arrival in Israel because of the new coronavirus outbreak, according to an interview with local media in May.

On Apr 2, Israel Hayom, the top-circulation Hebrew newspaper, published an editorial by Du on the theme that "Collaboration is the Cure for the Virus".

China and Israel, a strong US ally, have boosted cooperation in the high-tech and other sectors, leading Washington to urge Israel to limit Chinese investment in its strategic sectors.

Chinese embassy spokesman Wang Yongjun in a recent Jerusalem Post commentary rejected the claim and called Sino-Israeli cooperation a "win-win" situation.

Source: AFP/zl/jt/de

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