#78 – China in the Middle East: Sino-Israeli Relations



SHE Gangzheng 佘纲正, Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University

Brandon FRIEDMAN, Director of Research, the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University




Chinese investments in Israel have grown significantly in recent years, especially in the fields of software, IT services, and electronics. According to 2018 data from the World Bank, Israel imports the majority of goods from China ($ 10.4 billion), with the U.S. a close second ($10.2 billion). Moreover, China is the second biggest destination for Israeli exports ($4.8 billion), with the U.S. leading by a large margin ($16.8 billion).


Israel is not only an important economic and trade partner of China in the Middle East, but also a key element of China’s current strategy to promote the Belt and Road Initiative. China’s strategic interest is based on the fact that Israel is one of the world’s foremost commercial, food and security powerhouses and it enjoys significant grassroots support in the U.S. This relation has attracted increasing scrutiny and pressure from Washington, eager to limit Israeli engagement with China in its strategic sectors, as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, and infrastructures, especially because an FDI screening mechanism just began to be implemented by Israel but has not satisfied to American ally so far.


Within China’s strategy in the wider Mediterranean region, what are the challenges and opportunities lying ahead when discussing about Sino-Israeli relations? And will the new Biden-led U.S. administration change the course of its relations? Join us for a new ThinkINchina online talk, where professor She Gangzheng from Tsinghua University and professor Brandon Friedman from Tel Aviv University, guided by professor Andrea Ghiselli from Fudan University, will help us understand what 2021 will look like in Sino-Israeli political and economic relations.


The talk will be organized online, you can REGISTER HERE ON EVENTBRITE and the day before the event you’ll receive the link to join the conversation on Wednesday, February 10th, 4 pm Beijing time.


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