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TEL AVIV – The head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service warned this week that massive Chinese investments in Israel could pose a danger to the country’s national security, a local news station reported Wednesday.
“Chinese influence in Israel is particularly dangerous in terms of strategic infrastructure and investments in larger companies,” Nadav Argaman said according to witnesses at a closed-door speech at Tel Aviv University on Monday.
Speech - Argaman - Intervention - Superpower - Israel
In the same speech, Argaman warned of intervention by a foreign superpower in Israel’s upcoming elections.
According to Israel’s Channel 10, Argaman said, “The Chinese influence in Israel is particularly dangerous in everything connected to strategic infrastructure and investments in large companies in the economy.”
Takeovers - Companies - Firms - Proposal - Tel
He noted planned takeovers by Chinese companies of major Israeli firms as well as a proposal to construct the upcoming Tel Aviv light rail and operate Haifa’s port.
The U.S. Navy last month said it may pull its longstanding operations in Haifa port once a Chinese firm takes over in 2021.
Argaman - Knesset - Laws - Investment - Israel
Argaman called on the Knesset to pass laws aimed at monitoring foreign 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,” he said.
Argaman - Concern - Defense - Officials - Finance
Argaman’s concern, shared by other defense officials, led the Finance Ministry to overturn a deal to sell insurance companies Clal and Phoenix to Chinese companies in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
During his visit to Israel last week, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton called on Israeli officials to curb market penetration of Chinese electronics manufacturers ZTE and Huawei, a US official...
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