China’s Ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, 58, was found dead Sunday at his home in Herzliya. Medical sources report that initial indications are that he died in his sleep of natural causes. Du Wei was appointed ambassador in February after serving as China’s envoy to Ukraine. He presented his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin at the end of March after two weeks in quarantine over possible coronavirus infection.
The ambassador was married and had a son but his family are not believed to have been in the country. Israel’s foreign ministry called the embassy with condolences and offered to make any assistance needed available.
Upon his appointment, Du praised relations between “the second largest economy in the world and Israel the start-up nation.” Last week, the Chinese embassy dismissed as “absurd,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments deriding Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Chinese-Israeli relations were also commended as “mutually profitable.”