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May 18, 2020 11:12 am
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China Nixes Plan to Send Delegation to Israel to Investigate Death of Ambassador

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The late Chinese diplomat Du Wei. Photo: Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko / File.

China nixed on Monday a plan to send a delegation to investigate the sudden death of its ambassador to Israel over the weekend.

Ambassador Du Wei, 57, who arrived in Israel only three months ago, was found dead on Sunday at his residence in the city of Herzliya. According to an Israeli medical examination, he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

The Israeli news site N12 reported that a Chinese delegation had been set to arrive on Tuesday to look into the circumstances of Wei’s death, but this had now been canceled.

The move was said to indicate that China had accepted the conclusions of the Israeli investigation.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stated, “Chinese Ambassador to Israel Du Wei passed away on May 17 in Tel Aviv. According to preliminary judgment, he died unexpectedly due to health reasons. The details await further confirmation. We express our deepest condolences over his passing and sincere sympathy to his family. The Foreign Ministry will make sure that follow-up matters are properly handled.”

Conspiracy theories began to swirl around Wei’s death almost immediately, with some attempting to link it to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s lightning visit to Israel last week, during which he reportedly told Israeli officials to scale back economic ties with China.

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