China seeks clarifications after warnings by Israeli officials

Chinese officials ask Israeli counterparts about warnings by Israeli officials including the Shin Bet head about relations with China.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Binyamin Netanyahu, Chinese VP Liu Yandong
Binyamin Netanyahu, Chinese VP Liu Yandong
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Flash 90

The Chinese government is seeking clarification from Israel after a series of statements made by senior Israeli officials warning against tightening ties with China, News 13 correspondent Barak Ravid reported.

A senior Israeli official stated that numerous Chinese officials, including the Chinese ambassador to Israel, senior officials in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, Chinese Foreign Ministry officials, to diplomats at the Israeli embassy in Beijing have all sought clarifications.

The senior official said that the Chinese noted that they were very concerned about the comments made by the head of the Shin Bet, Nadav Argaman, who warned against Chinese investments in Israel, as well as former Israeli ambassador to China Matan Vilnai, who called for Israel to cancel the tender given to a Chinese company to run part of the port in Haifa. Another issue that raised Chinese dissatisfaction was the intention to set up a government credit mechanism to monitor China's investment.

The senior official added that the Chinese asked for clarifications regarding these statements and moves and wondered if Jerusalem had made a decision to change its policy towards China and cool relations with it, especially in light of the American pressure for Israel to do so. The senior official said that Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem and diplomats at the Israeli embassy in Beijing tried to reassure them.

The source cautioned against the use of anti-Chinese rhetoric by Israeli officials.

China has become Israel's second largest trading partner after the United States and defines Israel as a major innovation partner: "Relations with the US are, of course, the core of Israel's national security and there is no intention or desire to harm them," the senior official said. "But we have to find the right way to meet our interests vis-a-vis China."