A US official urged Israel to exercise caution when it comes to allowing Chinese firms to invest in Israeli technology, citing national security concerns. While the US regularly discourages its allies not to do business with China, according to a report from Axios, this was the first time the US publicly raised the issue with Israel.
“We would like to see Israel doing more to monitor Chinese investments — mainly in hi-tech,” David Schenker, the US assistant secretary of state for near east affairs, said at a virtual conference on Monday. “Ask yourselves if you think China will ever be committed to Israel’s security as the US is, or promote agreements like the Abraham Accords.”
Schenker said he hopes Israel begins to speak out about China’s alleged human rights abuses and its trade relationship with Iran. Schenker said the Chinese purchase of Iranian oil “undermine the efforts to counter Iranian aggression in the region.”
According to Schenker, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo privately pressed the Israeli government to tighten oversight on Chinese investments. Over the past year, Pompeo has been on a crusade against Beijing, often publicly warning US allies against working with Chinese tech companies.