BEIJING (PTI): Chinese Army chief will visit Israel for the first time after a decade long hiatus in defence ties between the two countries over US objections to high tech Israeli military sales to Beijing. General Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), will visit Israel next week as the guest of his Israeli counterpart Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, the Ministry of National Defence announced late last month, state run China Daily reported. It will be the first trip of a Chinese military chief to Israel. Military ties became frayed when Israel cancelled an arms deal with China, Yu Guoqing, an expert on Middle East studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said. In 2000, Israel suspended the sale of four advanced early-warning Phalcon aircraft to China following US objections. Since then, all Israeli military exports to China have been subjected to strict inspections to ensure they do not include US technology. However, Sino-Israeli defence ties have showed signs of warming in recent months. In May, Admiral Wu Shengli of the PLA Navy visited Israel. In June, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak visited China, the first visit of an Israeli defence minister in a decade. Israel will be Chen's last stop on a three-nation trip to Russia, Ukraine and Israel. Senior Israeli defence officials said recently that all of Israel's ties with China are under careful US scrutiny and in most cases are approved ahead of time by the Pentagon, according to Israeli media reports. Yu said Israel's growing focus on Beijing is also related to the continuing turmoil in the Middle East. "So far Israel is still observing the situation and has yet to comment in public on the impact of regional changes this year on the country. But its surrounding environment will definitely be affected," he said. "It is in need of fresh outside support, especially from China," he said.