April 2, 2012

While We Were Sleeping

While we were sleeping, China became an economic powerhouse. Slowly but surely it's becoming a major player in the international arena, as well. And in seeking to become a leading innovator, it is looking to Israel. How and what you can read below, but suffice it to say that this is what happens when a reigning superpower becomes big, bloated, lazy and slow to move and adapt. 

When “inclusiveness” dictates lowering the bar, rather than raising it; when the goal is to blend in rather than stand out; when the electorate chooses leaders who “lead from behind;” and when mediocrity and good enough are better than excellence and the best.

This is what happens when a superpower loses its sense of self, shuns competition, and disses longtime allies, all as America is doing today in the Age of Obama.

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs  |  April 1, 2012

A Quiet Transformation in China's Approach to Israel

By Carice Witte

♦ In recent years, the world has witnessed China’s growing involvement in the international arena – whether through its veto in the UN Security Council, its military conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden and contributing to peacekeeping missions in Africa and the Middle East, buying U.S. and EU debt, or its declaration that the South China Sea is an integral part of China.

♦ In the minds of the Chinese, Jews retain a highly respected status as a people who have survived over the millennia against all odds and have attained achievements that belie their miniscule numbers. The Chinese take great pride in Shanghai’s status as one of the only cities in the world that accepted Jewish refugees during World War II.

♦ In the 12th Five-Year Plan, published in 2011, China’s leadership announced a national intention to raise the country from being the world’s factory to becoming a leading innovator. This new focus led the Chinese to seek the potential contribution of Israel – the “Start-Up Nation.”

Israel-China economic ties.jpg
February 29, 2012: In a signing ceremony in Beijing, Israel's Minister of
Finance (left) and his Chinese counterpart execute an agreement in volume
of more than NIS 1 billion, for the export of Israeli water technologies to
(Photo: Israel Ministry of Finance)

Israel-China Business Forum.jpg

♦ Interactions between China and Israel had risen significantly over the years but had remained largely “off the record,” due to the Arab nations’ strong influence on the PRC leadership’s public approach to Israel. In 2011 this began to change. Five formally acknowledged Israel Studies programs were established across China, and in September, China’s most powerful political body – the Communist Party – expressed a formal interest in Israel’s political echelons in a public fashion by participating in the first-ever China-Israel Strategy and Security Symposium at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

August 14, 2011: China's Chief of Staff General Chen Bingde (left) meets
with Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv.

Israel-China military cooperation.jpg
August 14, 2011: China's Chief Of Staff General Chen Bingde on an official 
3-day visit in Israel to discuss military cooperation between the two countries.

♦ Despite its close ties with the Arab world, China was caught completely off guard by the Arab Spring. They were devastated by the $20 billion in losses they suffered with the fall of Gaddafi, hammering home their lack of understanding of the Middle East. In their search for accurate and reliable information, leading academics began to seek out Israel, an island of stability whose geographic proximity to the Arab Spring offers unique access. More here...

Carice Witte is founder and executive director of SIGNAL, Sino-Israel Global Network & Academic Leadership.


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Posted by AlanL from Katonah, NY on
On many levels, it is a shame that the current White House is preventing the US from having a more full and better relationship with Isrel.