Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

From China to Israel

24 January 1992
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Photo Moshe Milner on Wikimedia Commons

China and Israel officially established political relations on 24 January 1992. The first contract on labour export from China to Israel was signed in that same year. Ten years later, there were 17.030 registered Chinese workers in Israel. About 90 percent worked in the construction industry. Those who wanted to work in Israel had to pay a high recruitment fee to labour brokers, but they believed they would be able to repay this debt within one year of working. Few Chinese workers sent their money back home directly via Israeli banks, as they were charged a large commission percentage. As Palestinian banks charged less, Chinese labourers often put their money together and then asked a couple of representatives to cross the border and send it from Palestine.

Quoted from: Li Minghuan, 'Making a living at the interface of legality and illegality: Chinese Migrant Workers in Israel' in : Labour Matters. Towards Global Histories ( New Delhi 2009)