Dan Brouillette: Chinese Investments in Israel Threaten US Intelligence Sharing

Last updated on January 20th, 2019

The US is worried about foreign investments in Israel, especially from China. Thus, a senior US energy official, Dan Brouillette, on Tuesday, warned that the nation needs to implement a safety process for such transactions.

Brouillette’s approach to monitoring the transaction implies to the needs of a system that vets all inward investments into the country.

Therefore, before meeting with Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz followed by the head of Israel’s cyber directorate, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette told reporters on Tuesday in Tel Aviv that Israel should take “aggressive steps” to check foreign investment. Failing to which, can potentially expose vulnerabilities in Israeli infrastructure, putting intelligence sharing with the US at risk.

The problems increased after China and Israel stepped up trade and business ties in the previous years and promoted free trade talks. A majority of investments by China in Israel include, taking over local food giant Tnuva in 2014, and other deals, giving them the power to manage the key Haifa and Ashdod ports.

“We know that the threat is growing each and every day,” Brouillette told reporters. He added, “We’re going to share our experiences with China and let folks know that we have concerns with certain activities that we see coming out of China, specifically certain companies.”

He further ensured that the US would help Israel to set up a system similar to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, an inter-agency forum that reviews each transaction before allowing them to invest in the nation.

Following a meeting between Steinitz and Brouillette, Energy Minister said that the US deputy secretary “raised concerns over foreign investment in Israel, and expressed hope to continue a dialogue on best practices.”

Earlier this month, according to a US official, the US National Security Advisor, John Bolton asked Israeli officials to take a rigid stand against China’s electronics manufacturers, ZTE and Huawei.

Canada has detained Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder on US’ recommendation, accusing her of using a secondary organization to escape US sanctions on Iran during 2009 and 2014.

Brouillette’s recommendation to Israel has come amid an already fragile situation between the US and China. The trade war is on the lines of getting settled, facing the risk of getting affected by the US’ diplomatic ties with Israel.

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