China to control all Israeli ports by 2021
Two Israeli port facilities being upgraded by China may have security ramifications for Israel and its closest ally, the United States.
Published: October 24, 2018, 9:01 am
Israel relies on three key ports at Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat for almost all imports and exports. At the same time, Haifa is home to Israel’s nuclear submarine force — one of Israel’s primary second-strike capabilities in the event of nuclear war. It will now be monitored by China.
Haaretz reported that the decision to award the contracts to China was made with “zero involvement of the National Security Council, and without the Navy being in the picture at all” as part of the maritime “silk road” infrastructure project.
Beijing has secured a quarter-century lease for Haifa, with the Israeli authorities hoping to make its port industry more competitive. Signed on May 28, 2015, the contract grants Beijing total control of the port, set to be inaugurated in 2021. China will also built a tunnel from Mount Carmel to double the supply of Haifa’s port.
In Ashdod, Israel’s busiest port, a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd. won the mid-2014 contract to build an $876 million port.
But the United States-Israel alliance may suffer as a result as American vessels frequent these ports too.
Retired US Admiral Gary Roughead told the Jerusalem Post: “The Chinese port operators will be able to monitor closely US 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.”
Roughhead warned: “It’s not just someone listening in, but what is the technology being used in commercial systems which can bleed into military systems? How vulnerable are they to interference? It’s not something that just Israel and the Port of Haifa should be concerned about. What is being tested on an Israeli warship and how easily can those signals be picked up? What are the mechanisms in place to prevent that?”
On Monday Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, the man often dubbed “the second-most powerful in China,” visited Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu.
Qishan is on a three-day visit for an “Innovation Summit”. Chinese companies invested $16 billion in the Israeli economy last year, particularly in high-tech.
Haaretz reported that China is currently Israel’s second-largest trading partner, eclipsed only by the United States. And China is expected to win the planned tender to build the new rail line to Eilat, giving China a stake in all three of Israel’s main sea outlets.
Shaul Horev, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, warned in August that Israel was not taking the security and diplomatic implications of allowing China to control its ports seriously. He quoted American officials who told him that this would mean that the US Sixth Fleet would no longer consider Haifa one of its home ports.
Former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy noted: “Israel’s strategic allies are in the West, the United States and the European NATO members. China is a strategic ally of the Iranians and has sold them nuclear technology. We are much too eager to do business with them.”
But a veteran Israeli diplomat believes Netanyahu enjoys dealing with the Chinese. “Asian leaders never bother him about the Palestinians. If they bring the issue up at all, it’s just for protocol. They just want to talk business and that’s what he likes.”
In 2021, 90 percent of all Israel’s international trade will be controlled by China. This means that the People’s Republic of China will join the United States as protector of Israel, shaking up regional geopolitics.
Hamas has had a representation in Beijing, but both Hamas and Hezbollah will no longer be able to attack Israeli road, railway and port targets without entering into conflict with China.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
In response to the covert warfare waged by Western and Arab Gulf states for regime change in Syria, Russia has introduced its dreaded S-400 air defense system there. The Russian decision has had global consequences.
WashingtonUS President Donald Trump’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria has created a serious policy dispute with Israel, with an influential pro-Israel lobby turning against the President for the first time since he took office.
WashingtonAmerican troops are preparing to leave northeast Syria, according to President Trump. But will the US really leave Syria?
An article in an Israeli newspaper has documented how Israeli firms are supplying surveillance technology to countries across the world.
Three traditional strategic positions in the Middle East have reached tipping points and are likely to change due to the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder in Istanbul: US relations with Saudi Arabia, Turkey's role in the Middle East and Israel's strategic defenses.
WashingtonSaudi Arabia employs - through consultants - a host of retired American generals, diplomats, intelligence experts that get paid exorbitant amounts of money.
Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly accused of funding terrorism all over the world, including in Syria and Iran. Research by Edward Clifford in his book "Financing Terrorism: Saudi Arabia and Its Foreign Affairs", has shown the extent of Saudi support for terror.
MoscowThe Syrian army will be equipped with Russia S-300 air-defense missiles within the next two weeks following the downing of a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft in Syria, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.
A Russian military plane carrying 14 personnel over the Mediterranean has “disappeared from radar” Russia’s defence ministry announced. Israel staged this "provocation" the Russian side said.
James Jeffrey, the US State Department’s special representative for Syria, has spelled out the Trump administration’s policy towards Syria quite clearly.