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US Concerned over China’s Rising Investments in Israel

US Concerned over China’s Rising Investments in Israel

Friday, 11 January, 2019 - 08:45
FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat
Days after the US raised concerns about growing Chinese investments in Israeli infrastructure and strategic projects, the head of Israel's domestic security agency Shin Bet cautioned against them.

Nadav Argaman reportedly said at a closed lecture at Tel Aviv University that "the Chinese influence in Israel is particularly dangerous in everything connected to strategic infrastructure and investments in large companies in the economy."

Argaman pointed that Chinese companies are building the new port in Haifa and the light rail in Tel Aviv, as well as to attempts by Chinese companies to acquire the Phoenix and Clal insurance companies.

He said that, in his opinion, legislation was needed to supervise Chinese investment in Israel. "Israeli law is lagging behind security needs in terms of supervision of investments by foreign countries, and this may be dangerous. Legislation is needed.”

US National Security Adviser John Bolton raised concerns to Prime Minister Netanyahu about the use of Chinese telecommunications equipment in sensitive sectors in Israel, a US official told Reuters on Wednesday.

The senior administration official, who was briefed on talks between Bolton and Netanyahu over the weekend, said that talks addressed US concerns that Chinese involvement in certain sectors in Israel could enable intellectual property theft and intelligence gathering by China.

“We are all concerned about theft of intellectual property and Chinese telecoms companies that are being used by China for intelligence-gathering purposes,” he said, noting that the US doesn’t want any obstacles to being able to share sensitive information with Israel.

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