HAIFA PORT-THE NEW CROWN JEWEL OF CHINA

April 28, 2020

 

Interesting on the sequence of events played out regarding the Haifa port in Israel.

Israel's tourism had Haifa port busy with cruise ships but also cargo ships coming in. They were thinking that Haifa would be better used as a cruise ship port.

 

Here is the headline for Seatrade Cruise News

 

Haifa Port-Gateway to Tel Aviv and the Sacred Sites of Bethlehem and Jerusalem

Michelle Winny May 29, 2019

 

Excerpt...the long-term development plans are still undecided and we are looking into privatisation of the port and how to develop the terminal, but we expect the cargo port to be gone in about five years, replaced by ongoing development of the cruise terminal and waterfront.

 

JERUSALEM POST

 

Israel-China experts downplay impact of Haifa Port decision

"Israeli authorities were warned that the Haifa Port deal was dangerous for a long, long time, but infrastructure is secondary to technology in the way that China views Israel as a resource"

 

By EYTAN HALON   

JUNE 18, 2019 13:31

Excerpts...

 

The Chinese management of the port was one of the issues that US National Security Adviser John Bolton discussed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit here this week. The port is a frequent dock for the US Sixth Fleet, and Washington is concerned that China will use the harbor to improve its standing in the Middle East and potentially gather intelligence on US interests.

 

The Post reported last month that the US Navy might change its longstanding operations there once the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) – a company in which the Chinese government has a majority stake – takes over management of the site in 2021. Israel signed an agreement in 2015 with SIPG to upgrade and manage the port.​

 

“The fact that amidst a trade war with the US, China sent the second most powerful person in the country, President Xi’s right-hand man, to Israel sends a powerful message that Israel is important to China. I think the relationship is strong enough to withstand the breakdown of any individual deal.”

 

My Comment: It seems like Israel's desire to build out Haifa port for cruise lines may have been altered by a Chinese bug. Per Fox Philadelphia CDC extends COV-__  no-sail order as nearly 100 cruise ships remain at sea off US coasts By Austin WilliamsPublished April 9 Coronavirus FOX TV Digital Team

 

My Comment: So here we have China's new port in Haifa. But now many goods being halted because the world has shut down. 

 

NEXT ARTICLE FROM JERUSALEM POST

 

China wins on Haifa port, but fights with US for the future - analysis

China will start running the port in 2021, and the US will need to decide whether to continue to dock its Sixth Fleet there or follow through on its threat to pull out.

 

By YONAH JEREMY BOB   

DECEMBER 12, 2019 08:26

 

The great battle over the Haifa Port has played out, and China beat the US in competing to influence Israeli policy.China will start running the port in 2021, and the US will need to decide whether to continue to dock its Sixth Fleet there or follow through on its threat to pull out.​

 

So why was Beijing’s Special Envoy for the Middle East Zhai Jun in such a combative mood during his visit to Israel on Monday when he fired a warning shot at Israel about taking “US bullying” into account over the country’s future relations?If the Chinese played US football, one might have expected Jun to spike the football and do a dance in the end zone.This would seem to be even more true in light of the fact that when Israel’s new task force for vetting foreign investments holds its first meeting in January, it will not be regulating Chinese investments in Israel’s hi-tech sector.As Institute for National Security Studies China program director Assaf Orion has previously written, the US is “highly sensitive to Chinese acquisitions in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomics, semiconductors…not all of which are directly military/defense-related…But the lines between civilian and military applications of these technologies are not steadfast.”True, there is a laundry-list of industries, especially in critical infrastructure, where the task force will vet foreign investment, including: the financial, communications, infrastructure, transportation, and energy sectors.
But The Jerusalem Post has been told previously by top security establishment sources that there was genuine worry that the Chinese would weave in some back-door or old-fashioned spying into the Haifa Port mix.When The Jerusalem Post visited China this summer, it seemed that what was brilliant and unique about what China can offer is that its advanced technology deep sea port in Shanghai is almost completely automated.It uses an army of networked, automated, guided vehicles, an automated stacking crane system and other automated systems to move over 42 million shipping container units per year with a bare minimum of human intervention for a complex process that once required effectively an army of humans doing physical labor.Overall, the automation and networking of devices and vehicles, which Israel is excited about for saving money and labor costs, was exactly what worried some Israeli defense officials – worries that China might use back doors in the infrastructure for spying.Top Israeli defense officials had told the Post that the concerns about the Chinese in this regard are real and based on evidence from patterns that have already occurred elsewhere.There is an interesting question about whether Israel trusts the Chinese – Israeli officials are certainty less suspicious on average than their US counterparts – or has decided that it needs to bond with Beijing, with or without trust, as a simple factual recognition of China’s rising power globally.Former Mossad, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), cyber and other national security officials have differing views on the issue depending on how crucial they think China is to Israel’s future diplomatic posture.However, this is all seemingly old news now. Once again, there may be some Israeli in-house modifications of Chinese technology or infrastructure as Beijing creates a Haifa Port in the image of the Shanghai Port, but the punchline is that Israel rebuffed US pressure.If China won on the Haifa Port and won on getting the hi-tech sector exempt from the new task force regulatory process then we return to the mystery of why Chinese official Jun is railing at the US.In this regard, INSS researcher Doron Ella argues that the Haifa Port question was always mostly symbolic.He noted that, in fact, the US already docks its naval vessels at two US ports run by the Chinese.Further, Ella said that it is quite possible that the powers of the task force may later expand to include aspects of the hi-tech sector.In this reading, China is suspicious that the creation of the task force itself was done only to satisfy US concerns and was not related to any legitimate Israeli security considerations.If true, then China could be worried that the US will make future power plays to get the task force to start vetting hi-tech issues also.In the meantime, it appears that where the Shin Bet and Israeli defense establishment wanted safeguards regarding critical infrastructure, the task force was given power.Where the only concern was angering the US in its ongoing competition with China about developing the AI, cyber, big data, robotics and facial recognition industries, Israel is leaning toward China for now.China’s warning shot on Monday was likely to ensure that it stays that way as these hi-tech sectors are a much bigger trophy in the long-term than the Haifa Port ever was.

 

My Comment more of a question really...

I wonder since no one is shopping at retail clothing stores or places like Homegoods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Macys, most mall stores, furniture stores does it impact the cargo coming in from China to the U.S.? Or is on line sales going strong in all sectors? Are any economists in the know to the amount of exports that have declined from China since the shut down?

 

 

 

 

 

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