U.S. cautions Israel over growing Chinese investments

US Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette has cautioned Israeli officials of the threats Chinese companies pose to cyber security and intelligence. In an interview the Deputy Secretary made to Israel’s Army Radio – during an official visit to the Jewish state – he warned of dangerous implications to the growing Chinese investments in Israel, which ‘could inhibit allies from sharing intelligence with Jerusalem.’ While Israeli officials refused to comment on possible consequences that may arise from growing U.S. pressure against Chinese investments, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz confessed to Washington’s dismay. Among other investments, in December 2016, Huawei acquired Israel’s HexaTier, whose technology secures databases in the cloud, for 42 million dollars. This followed a visit to Israel by the Chinese technology giant’s CEO. That same month, it also acquired IT research firm Toga Networks for an undisclosed amount. Furthermore, ZTE has shown interest in Israel’s tech sector since sending a senior delegation to the country in 2013. In is important to note that both Huawei and ZTE have alleged links to the Chinese government, and have according to Trump Administration officials, evaded Washington’s sanctions on Iran. That is why, earlier this week, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers have introduced bills that would ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate U.S. sanctions or laws of export control. While ZTE was not immediately available for comment, Huawei vehemently denied any ties with Chinese espionage.