China will operate Haifa port, near Israel's alleged nuclear-armed submarines,
Prof. Horev noted that one topic that came up at the event was Chinese investments in Mediterranean ports, and in Israel in particular. Pointing out that a Chinese company will soon start operating Haifa Port, he said that Israel needs to create a mechanism that will examine Chinese investments to ensure that they do not put Israel’s security interests at risk.
“When China acquires ports,” Horev said, “it does so under the guise of maintaining a trade route from the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal to Europe, such as the port of Piraeus in Greece. Does an economic horizon like this have a security impact? We are not weighing that possibility sufficiently. One of the senior American figures at the conference raised the question of whether the U.S. Sixth Fleet can see Haifa as a home port. In light of the Chinese takeover, the question is no longer on the agenda.”
The Chinese company SIPG won the bid to expand the Haifa Port three and a half years ago. The project is slated to be inaugurated in 2021 and calls for the Chinese company, which also operates the Port of Shanghai, to run the Haifa Port for 25 years. Another Chinese firm won the bid to build a new port at Ashdod.
Those decisions were made by the Transportation Ministry and the Ports Authority, with zero involvement of the National Security Council, and without the navy being in the picture at all. The problem lies not only in the implications that ties with the Chinese have for Israel’s relations with the United States, which under the Trump administration is ramping up its rhetoric on China because of the trade wars and tensions in the China Sea.
Source: China will operate Haifa port, near Israel's alleged nuclear-armed submarines,