How will Israel’s transition to a post-Benjamin Netanyahu government change Israel’s vital relationship with the United States? Much of the focus has been on policies toward Iran and the Palestinians, but there is another issue with enormous potential to solidify or harm the U.S.-Israeli relationship: Israel’s economic and technological ties with China.
The Biden administration, like the Trump administration, has recognized China as the United States’ chief national security threat and geostrategic rival. Despite political polarization in other areas, Democrats and Republicans support hardening U.S. policy toward China on matters including military posture, trade and investment, technology controls, cross-border data restrictions and academic exchange.
As a sovereign, high-tech, democratic powerhouse, Israel has a fundamental stake in the contest between China and the free world.
U.S. leaders are urging foreign friends to make similar adjustments to protect themselves — and their U.S. ties — from Beijing’s theft, espionage, coercion and other malign activity. President Biden, on his recent trip to Europe, underscored the China challenge, declaring, “We have to discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over.”
Yet U.S. worries about China have been prominently belittled in Israel: Yossi Cohen, who stepped down last month as Israel’s powerful spy chief, said in a June 7 speech, “I do not understand what the Americans want from China. If anyone understands it, he should explain it to me. . . . China is not opposed to us and is not our enemy.”
Cohen’s air of unconcern reflects more than a decade of increasing ties between Israel and China.
Read the full article from The Washington Post.
More from CNAS
CommentaryThe United States Can’t Afford the Brutal Price of Chinese Solar Panels
Buying Chinese solar panels to reduce emissions is like using gas to put out a fire....
By Henry Wu
CommentaryBipartisan support for taking on China goes only so far
The embrace of great-power competition comes with a critical caveat. Both parties’ enthusiasm for the concept abruptly ends when it requires doing something politically hard....
By Vance Serchuk
CommentaryHow the Afghanistan Withdrawal Costs the U.S. With China
U.S. departure from Kabul could end up undermining, rather than strengthening, America’s strategic hand against China....
By Richard Fontaine & Vance Serchuk
CommentaryGetting real about US–China cooperation
One of the toughest questions in the current frosty era of relations between Washington and Beijing is whether and how to pursue cooperation amid ‘extreme’ geopolitical compet...
By Jacob Stokes