U.S. concerns about Chinese control of key Israel port . . .
Chinese companies have in recent years made significant investments in Israel’s strategic infrastructure such as electricity and transportation, moves that have angered the U.S. The most significant of these is Israel’s 2015 decision to grant a China-based company the contract to expand and afterwards control of the Port of Haifa, Israel’s largest seaport, once the port’s expansion is completed in 2021. The U.S. Navy has expressed serious concerns as the port is adjacent to where its 6th Naval Fleet docks and conducts military exercises, raising the spectre of China spying on U.S. military activities.
U.S. pressures allies over Chinese investments . . .
Washington is now increasingly pressuring its closest allies to reject investment by Chinese companies in essential infrastructure. The U.S. fears that certain commercial deals, especially in the technology sector, could be used as a back door to Chinese spying in sensitive sectors. Although the security ramifications of these investments may be overblown, the U.S. is increasingly displeased by the closer relations China is building with America’s closest allies.
Tough decisions ahead for allies . . .
Just like Israel and other U.S. allies, Canada has been on the receiving end of U.S. pressure to reject Chinese investment in its high-tech sectors and in critical infrastructure. As competition between the superpowers shows little prospect of receding, U.S. pressure on its allies will likely increase. Canada and other U.S. allies will have to make difficult choices in the years ahead, and domestic elections may well serve as expressions of opinion on these matters; Israelis go to the polls on September 17, with Canadians doing the same on October 21.
- The Atlantic: The U.S. is worried about China’s investments – this time in Israel
- Bloomberg: The U.S. is pressuring Israel to rethink investment from China
- National Public Radio: There's a growing sore spot In Israeli-U.S. relations: China