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The Chinese dragon and the Iranian lion have merged together in a pact that might forever alter the balance of power in the Middle East. China, with a population of 1.393 billion people and a land mass of 3.705 million square miles is merging with Iran, with a population of approximately 84 million people and a land mass of 636,000 square miles which would post a significant threat to the stability of the region, and the entire world.

(August 5, 2020 / JNS)

Iran has been cash-starved by the US led sanctions, and China sees this as a way of getting heavily discounted oil from the current Iranian surplus, and access into the vast Persian territory for China’s hegemonic “Belt and Road” initiative. They will be participating in joint military exercises intelligence sharing, and research and development of weaponry.

Both are sworn enemies of the United States, and neither could be trusted when it comes to Israel’s national security interests.

On Friday, in his Eid al-Adha address, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated  “our main enemy is the US and their regime,” and reveled over our current economic problems, racial issues, and difficulties in containing the pandemic, gloating over the notion that “currently the American people are the greatest enemy to the US regime.”

Chinese-US relations have reached an all-time low. Last Monday, the American flag was lowered in front of the Chinese consulate in Chengdu and all American personnel vacated the premises. Many see this as a response to the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston, because of Chinese Communist Republic’s deep involvement in economic and political espionage, as well as its blatant disregard for intellectual property rights.

Of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran has never wavered from its manifest, unswerving hostility to what they refer to as “the Zionist entity,” and its ultimate desire to “wipe it off the map.” According to David Albright, Founder and President of the Institute for Science and International Security, Iran was simply two to three months away from nuclear breakout, until a series of mysterious fires and “accidents” set them back perhaps one to two years.

China may not have those fatal aspirations when it comes to Israel, and unlike most of Europe, it lacks a long and extensive history of anti-Semitism. Ever since its inception in 1948, Israel has been desperate for friends, allies. and trading partners, like the kid on the block that no one wants on its team.

The United States has demonstrated, particularly under the present administration, unparalleled devotion to Israel. There have been many an occasion when Israel has relied upon the American veto in the UN Security Council, to prevent scathing resolutions and sanctions from being issued against.

However, Israel risks damaging its relationship with the US, what has long been its most reliable partner in the community of nations by entering into extensive trade agreements with China. The United States is now carefully re-evaluating its relationship with China, and many analysts have gone so far as to say that we are now entering into a Cold War that runs the risk, at any point, of turning hot.

China, under President Xi Jinping, has expanded its sphere of influence into the South China Sea to India, across Central Asia and into Europe. It feels a sense of righteous indignation over the rise of the United States and feels that it must make up for what it calls “centuries of humiliation.” In 2017, President Xi said that they are entering “a long hard road” against United States. Their “Belt and Road” initiative plans to link 60 nations in its hegemonic quest throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

As authoritarian countries tend to do, China feels that they had successfully “controlled” the COVID-19 pandemic and are trying to take advantage of the crisis to demonstrate their prowess, vis-à-vis the US in medicine, economics, and world domination.

Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the United States an estimated 225 billion dollars, and approximately $600 billion in counterfeited goods. According to a recent report, one in five US companies in the CFO (Chief Financial Officers) Cancel, report having had their intellectual property being stolen by the Chinese.

It is therefore with great trepidation that I read of the reports of increasing Chinese involvement in Israel’s infrastructure. With trustworthy friends like this, who is to say that Israel’s national security secrets will not be immediately turned over to the Iranians?

Among other agreements, there is an agreement for the Shanghai International Port Group to take control of the Haifa Port for 25 years. The U.S. Sixth fleet docks on the Haifa Port. It is also Israel’s largest container terminal. This not only compromises Israel’s national security interests, but those of the United States.

The Chinese Harbor Engineering Groups had previously participated in the construction in the port of Ashdod, and the Chinese Railway Tunnel Group won the lucrative $3 billion contract to dig the tunnels for Tel Aviv Red Line.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to Israel last May, expressly, to warn Israel about getting deeply entangled with China. The US is also rightfully concerned about Chinese investment into Israel’s cutting-edge high-tech cybersecurity, satellite telecommunications artificial intelligence industries, with their “intellectual property” philosophy of “once I understand it, I own it.”

Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative is a multi-billion-dollar strategy to delve deep into and steal the economic cyber, intelligence and military secrets of any company or country it develops relations with.

Now that China and Iran have entered into this partnership, not only do further commercial interests with China threaten to rock Israel’s critically important relationship with the United States, but they threaten to pose a tremendous security risk to Israel.

It is about time Israel stop behaving like the kid on the block who is desperate for friends. Most of the Sunni Arab nations and Israel have been developing close relations, thanks to the Iranian menace, albeit many of them are still “under the table.” Israel’s desperation to widen its scope of friendship should not cloud up its realistic perception of the dangers of dealing with the Chinese dragon. One should hope that Israel promptly sets its gears into “reverse” and get out of these perilous deals with the People’s Republic of China before the dragon bites Israel in the backside and it is devoured by the Persian lion.

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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