The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

The ‘flowering of relations’ between Israel and China — Has Washington lost the plot?

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In a highly-recommended Asia Times Online piece, M K Bhadrakumar observes:

The relationship between China and Israel has been complex. It has had its ups and downs. But the Israeli Foreign Ministry is justified in claiming in a statement last week that the two countries are presently “enjoying a flowering of relations in recent years”.

Indeed, 2011 has been a good year. In May the commander of the Chinese navy Admiral Wu Shengli visited Israel, which was followed in August by the visit by the chief of the People’s Liberation Army general staff department General Chen Bingde. This was the first visit by a Chinese military chief to Israel.

In between, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited China in June, which was also the first of its kind. In July, the two countries concluded an economic cooperation agreement. To quote Netanyahu, “The bilateral ties are important to us; therefore, we are committed to expanding them quickly in a variety of fields. To this end, I have issued a sweeping directive to approve any invitation to visit China.”

Clearly, Israel and China are poised to enter a profound and highly strategic engagement. Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv on Sunday that he intended to develop the proposed rail and road networks joining Eilat to northern Israel as a “junction between continents”. He went on to flag China’s interest in the project.

Beijing would have already sized up the immense strategic potential of an audacious transportation route across the Negev bypassing Egypt’s congested Suez Canal, which would connect Asia with Europe. It almost seems Washington has lost the plot.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

February 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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