Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday. Ahead of the meeting, a State Department official told reporters that Blinken planned to warn Lapid against cooperation with China, as the US is increasingly unhappy over its top recipient of military aid doing business with its newly declared top adversary.
“As the secretary has noted, with allies and partners worldwide, we’ll be candid with our Israeli friends over risks to our shared national security interests that come with close cooperation with China,” the official said.
A State Department readout of the meeting offered little detail but did say the two diplomats discussed a number of issues, including the “People’s Republic of China.”
In August, reports said CIA Director William Burns raised the issue of Chinese investments in Israel during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Burns recently announced a new spy center to focus exclusively on China, which he called “the most important geopolitical threat.”
Chinese investments in Israel were a rare point of contention between the Trump administration and the Israelis. In 2019, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even warned Israel that the US might curb intelligence and security ties over Israel’s trade with China.
Ultimately, the US has done nothing over Israel’s trade with China. And despite the US warnings, Israel’s cooperation with China has increased over the years.