China To Take Over Israel’s Largest Port, Could Threaten US Naval Operations

Zero Hedge – by Tyler Durden

A top Israeli military and energy official has questioned Israel and China’s growing economic ties just as a Chinese company is set to begin operating Haifa Port as part of a major 25-year contract previously struck in 2015.

“When China acquires ports,” Israeli Brigadier General Shaul Horev began in an interview this week with national news source, Arutz Sheva, “it does so under the guise of maintaining a trade route from the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal to Europe, such as the port of Piraeus in Greece. Does an economic horizon like this have a security impact?”   

Gen. Horev, who has also served as navy chief of staff and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, continued to sound the alarm over a Chinese takeover, “We are not weighing that possibility sufficiently. One of the senior American figures at the conference raised the question of whether the U.S. Sixth Fleet can see Haifa as a home port. In light of the Chinese takeover, the question is no longer on the agenda.”

He is calling for an Israeli security mechanism that that will review and scrutinize Chinese investments in Israel and the Mediterranean to ensure they don’t harm the security interests of Israel or its partners, like the United States.

The Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) will manage Israel’s largest port at Haifa as part of a contract to be inagurated in 2021, which will run for 25 years. Meanwhile a separate Chinese firm was recently awarded a contract to construct a new port in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.

According to various reports China has been spending roughly $150bn a year in the countries involved in its massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which seeks to link Asia, Europe, and Africa in a vast Chinese-underwritten free trade infrastructure. Mediterranean outposts like Haifa are a key link in this corridor, a corridor which China hopes will be fully established as a “21st century Silk Road” by 2049.

But as we’ve noted recently, major multi-billion dollar infrastructural projects in host counties could come at a cost, namely it could open the door to Chinese spying and expanding influence of its security services.

The Israeli military official’s statements came after a major defense conference hosted in the city of Haifa last month, where the issue of Chinese economic expansion into Israel was discussed and debated.

According to Israel’s Haaretz:

The Haifa conference was held in conjunction with the conservative Washington-based Hudson Institute. Several of the American participants were former senior Pentagon and navy personnel. The remarks of the senior figure Horev quoted were sharper than the polite tone he used. The Americans who were at the conference think Israel lost its mind when it gave the Chinese the keys to Haifa Port. Once China is in the picture, they said, the Israel Navy will not be able to count on maintaining the close relations it has had with the Sixth Fleet.

Critical voices of Israel’s closer relations with China noted that such decisions as the Haifa port deal with the SIPG were made solely under the oversight of the Transportation Ministry and the Ports Authority, but reportedly had no involvement of the the National Security Council or Israel’s navy.

This is concerning, critics say, as President Trump has ratcheted up his rhetoric over China’s threat to American business and interests at home and overseas.

The US military for example, routinely conducts exercises with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and docks ships and carriers at Israeli ports, including Haifa Port — soon to be operated by a Chinese company.

This is also worrisome considering China’s increased ties with Iran and refusal to abide by White House sanctions on Tehran and Trump’s demand that countries should stop importing Iran’s oil.

China had jumped at the opportunity to be a prime mover in Iran’s economy since international sanctions were lifted in January 2016 as part of the 2015 nuclear deal brokered by the United Kingdom, United States, France, Russia, China, and Germany, but which the Trump White House pulled the US out of last May.

Relations between China and Iran began to thaw from the moment Chinese President Xi Jinping took office in 2012, and by January 2016 – at the moment sanctions were lifted – Xi visited Tehran, meeting with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani – which marked the first time a Chinese president visited Iran in 14 years.

Critics of the Chinese takeover of Haifa port say this will grow increasingly awkward for Tel Aviv, which has an official position that Iran seeks to wipe Israel off the map.

Iran’s President Rouhani and Xi have since the Israel-China Haifa port deal signed agreements related to the Belt and Road. This included 17 multi-billion-dollar deals covering areas of energy, finance, communications, banking, culture, science, technology, and politics, with a further ten year road map of broader China-Iran cooperation. In total this could see trillions pumped into the Iranian economy over the coming decades while physically connecting China with Europe and Africa on an infrastructural level and in an expanding trade relationship.

And this all brings back the original questions: if China is to play a crucial lifeline for Iran as it attempts to survive aggressive US sanctions, and if Israel is growing economically closer to China, won’t such an alignment be dangerous to Israel’s long term security and its tied-at-the-hip relations to Washington?

Or perhaps trade and free markets will produce the opposite effect: soften tensions, turn nations away from war and toward pragmatism, and bring greater regional stability.

6 thoughts on “China To Take Over Israel’s Largest Port, Could Threaten US Naval Operations

  1. “Americans who were at the conference think Israel lost its mind when it gave the Chinese the keys to Haifa Port.”

    Americans who were at the conference are blithering idiots if that’s actually true.

    No way Israhell could have possibly lost what it never had to begin with.

    “… if China is to play a crucial lifeline for Iran as it attempts to survive aggressive US sanctions, and if Israel is growing economically closer to China, won’t such an alignment be dangerous to Israel’s long term security and its tied-at-the-hip relations to Washington?”

    Not that I can see.

    I’ll give anyone 3 guesses as to who Israhell’s next b#tch will be.

    This is a MAJOR development.

  2. As I have suspected for years (since at least 5 anyway)–when Israel is done sucking the US govt. dry, they’ll get China to do what the US has been doing since the attack on the USS Liberty, and will suck them dry as well. Supposedly as the Uighurs (Muslims) get genocided or jailed in China, the so-called Noahide movement is picking up steam in China (and lest I forget, the Chi-Coms are forcing Chinese Christians to disavow Christ…more good news for the Noahide Talmudists.) But having Chabaders as inlaws, no way with Frump understand just how he is helping destroy this country letting Israel even get away with screwing the Sixth Fleet, perhaps. I wonder how far this story will go in the MSM. Just when will Americans realize our fealty to Israel could wind up destroying the US? Literally? And thanks, “Christian” Zionists, for aiding in this effort!

  3. Well it looks like the Jews are doing what they do best which is taking two groups of people and pitting them against each other while they sit back and play the innocent victim.

    The Jews know what they are doing. They want to pretend to be friends with the Chinese in order to get the US government pissed enough to start a war with China out of pride and jealousy because they (the Jews) are pissed that the US has still not gone into all out war for them, yet. And they (the Jews) want to pretend to be friends with China so they can stab them in the back and play the innocent victim, saying, “What? It wasn’t me, it was them.”

    Sick bastards!

  4. This really should come as no surprise to anyone. Plain and simple, Jews invented communism. It’s a Talmudic concept from soup to nuts. All commie nations are by default under Talmudic law for the goyim, because there are 2 sets of laws for us and them. For those who say communism doesn’t work, it does. It does exactly what it’s designed to do. You just have to remember that it’s designed to be totalitarian and oppressive in ruling over the people and shaping them to be tools for the state, and ultimately, the world government. Read and understand the protocols of zion. It’s all being played out right in front of you, literally. That’s why when we say, the Jews are behind it all or the cause of it all, we’re not crazy anti Semitic conspiracy theorists. We’re trying to wake people up to the fact of the matter. And that’s why when people condemn and try to warn nations like America we’re labeled hateful, islamofassist domestic terrorists. Divide and conquer is the game. Them using powerful nations until it was no longer useful is an old play. Just look at Germany, Russia and anywhere else these scum were let in, operated and then destroyed. The party wasn’t gonna last forever America, and we tried to warn you. So now they’re propping up a new power, who’s more than willing to act with no scruples or morals of any kind and is very keen on human rights violation. But I bet my last dollar, you will never see any violation of the rights of Zionist Jews from any commie nation.

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