Behind Closed Doors, US Urged Israel to Hamper Chinese Investments in Country - Report

© AP Photo / Evan VucciPresident Joe Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Washington.
President Joe Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Washington. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.01.2022
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Over the last decade, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to strengthen ties with China and solicit Chinese investment in Israel's infrastructure and technology industries.
US President Joe Biden's administration and the Israeli government held low-key talks on China last month, a sensitive topic given American concerns about Chinese investments in Israel, Axios reported Wednesday.
According to the report, the conversation on 14 December was the first wide-ranging consultation between the two countries on China since Biden took office, and it was led by deputy national security advisers from both sides.
Fearing retaliation from Beijing, the Israeli side reportedly attempted to keep it as low-key as possible.
At the meeting, representatives from numerous government agencies dealing with the economy, foreign affairs, and national security were present. Both sides provided general policy lines and exchanged notes as they perform their own policy evaluations, according to an undisclosed senior Israeli official, but no conclusions were reportedly reached.
Moreover, while visiting Israel a week after the meeting, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan brought up some of the same issues with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
US President Joe Biden and Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chat during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, US on 27 August 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.09.2021
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Per the report, citing the Israeli side, Sullivan's key points were Chinese involvement in infrastructure projects, concerns about Chinese hacking, and the need to establish a united front against China.
Officials from the Jewish state's Foreign Ministry reportedly informed Israel's Security Cabinet on Sunday that the Biden administration was intensifying pressure on Israel and other countries to choose sides between the US and China.
Now experts say that the Israeli government is torn between maintaining a balancing act in order to retain trade links with China and more actively siding with the US, its closest geopolitical ally.

"We have no dilemma about who is our most important ally and we are more mindful about US concerns and more transparent than we were in the past. But we are not going to avoid doing things with China that the US is not avoiding", the unnamed Israeli official told Axios.

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