From dailyalert.org, Apr. 11, 2014 (Click on the title of any article to see the whole article…Ed.)
Israel and China, Win-Win – Amos Nadai
At a time when U.S. support for Israel is under pressure and there is rising animosity and hatred towards Israel in Europe, among the Chinese leadership and public there exists a broad base of support for Israel, in a society that has never known anti-Semitism and believes in the Jewish genius. China views Israel as a model to emulate. Israel’s per capita GNP and number of Nobel prizewinners in the sciences are a source of respect among the Chinese.
The Chinese are undergoing economic and social processes that Israel can contribute to. There is no reason that Israel, with its unique abilities and advantages for the Chinese, should pass up such serious commercial opportunities. The possibilities are practically endless. The writer was Israel’s Ambassador to China (2007-2012) and head of the Asia and Pacific Division of the Israel Foreign Ministry. (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew, 8April2014)
Israel and China are forging ahead with a new freight rail link through Israel that could provide an alternative to the Suez Canal. The project would connect the 300-plus kilometers between Eilat on the Red Sea and Ashdod Port on the Mediterranean. The Israeli cabinet recently decided to fast-track the Red-Med project. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “It’s the first time we’d be able to assist the countries in Europe and Asia to make sure they always have an open connection.”
Ilan Maor, a former Israeli consul to Shanghai, says China’s involvement in the project “shows the Chinese government [and] Chinese companies believe that Israel holds a significant potential for business cooperation.” The EU is China’s number-one trading partner, so easy access to the continent is very important.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Egypt’s political uncertainty has left the Sinai Peninsula a “lawless zone for jihadists and Bedouin militias,” highlighting a rocket-propelled-grenade attack last August on a Chinese-owned container ship in the Suez Canal. Lloyd’s insurance market has even recommended that ships take the 6,000-mile route around South Africa instead. (Deutsche Welle-Germany)
Chinese activity in Israel is unexceptional, and is rather part of a global phenomenon, given China’s increasing participation in the global economy. Still, Chinese activity around the globe and especially in the West arouses suspicion. Yet any attempt to thwart China’s interest in Israel will not only block economic resources but will also deny Israel useful political means at a time when China’s involvement in the Middle East is on the rise. The writer is a research fellow at INSS. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv)
China in the Middle East – David P. Goldman
China’s attitude to the world beyond its borders is governed by self-interest, which mainly means arrangements conducive to the flow of trade. Outside of that, the Chinese have no wish to become imperial masters. They do not particularly like other cultures and other peoples, believing their own to be the best and most virtuous, and do not wish upon themselves the trouble of ruling them. In private conversation, Chinese officials insist that they are content to follow the American lead in such matters as Iran’s nuclear program.
China is Saudi Arabia’s biggest trading partner and will depend on Saudi oil indefinitely. It buys hydrocarbons from Iran, but far less. China has more to lose from regional instability than any other country, given its energy dependency. If it wished to put pressure on Iran, it surely could, by a number of means. (PJ Media)