May 29, 2019
- What’s Beijing Doing in Haifa? – William A. Galston
In 2015,Israel’s Transportation Ministry accepted an offer from the Shanghai International Port Group to operate the port of Haifa for 25 years, starting in 2021, and invest $2 billion to expand the port into Israel’s largest harbor. Notably, this decision was taken without the formal involvement of either Israel’s security cabinet or its National Security Council.
In 2018, retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations, warned Israelis that China’s presence in Haifa might force the U.S. Sixth Fleet to abandon the port and dock elsewhere. As he explained in remarks reported in the Jerusalem Post, “The Chinese port operators will be able to monitor closely U.S. ship movements, be aware of maintenance activity, and could have access to equipment moving to and from repair sites and interact freely with our crews over protracted periods.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Israeli officials that if the Chinese deal continued, the U.S. might reduce its intelligence sharing with Israel.
Underlying this dispute is the remarkable growth in recent years of economic ties between Israel and China. Chinese investment in Israel’s high-tech sector is soaring.
Doing business with China is not the same as doing business with a democracy. Does Israel really want to enable China’s rise at the cost of weakening its relationship with its greatest ally? (Wall Street Journal)
Japan’s Mitsubishi to Open Innovation Center in Israel (Nasdaq/Reuters)
Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp will open an innovation center in Tel Aviv, turning to Israeli start-ups for new technologies, Israel’s Economy Ministry said on Monday.
“In the past two years, company representatives have begun to examine whether they should expand their activity in Israel and focus more on technological cooperation, including investments in Israeli companies,” the ministry said in a statement. “They intend to locate innovative technologies in Israel that are relevant mainly to digital transformation,” it said.
Over the past four years, Japanese investment in Israel has topped $5 billion, with more than 70 Japanese firms opening missions in Israel.