(October 30, 2019 / JNS) Israel decided on Wednesday to form a committee to monitor Chinese investments amid pressure from the Trump administration.
The United States has repeatedly expressed concerns with Israel over Chinese investments in the Jewish state.
Earlier this week in Jerusalem, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised the matter with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.
Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat was in the United States last week to meet for the first time with U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. A substantive component of the discussion related to the administration’s requests to halt Chinese investments, reported Israel’s Channel 13, citing Israeli officials.
“We want to make sure that Israeli citizens don’t have their private information stolen by the Chinese Communist Party. Using China as an interconnector, as a backbone for a network, puts at risk that network,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told JNS in a wide-ranging interview in August. “It makes a likelihood that we will not deem that network trusted, and the United States has a policy of not permitting American information to flow across networks that aren’t trusted.”
Chinese investments in Israel include management of the Haifa port.
The new committee will only play an advisory role.
A senior administration official told JNS that “China has not been playing on an even field on trade and investment,” and that “we are pleased that our close friend Israel recognizes this reality and is taking steps to protect against this threat.”
The official called on Israel to “continually review and improve their new mechanism.”
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