Israeli foreign affairs source reiterates importance of deeper cooperation with China following conflict over light rail project
Published: Apr 19, 2022 01:50 PM
People wait to cross a road in Tel Aviv, Israel, on April 18, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

People wait to cross a road in Tel Aviv, Israel, on April 18, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

A source from the Israeli Foreign Ministry told the Global Times on Monday that it is Israel's basic position to develop friendship and cooperation with China, while the country has wisdom to maintain its national interests.

The comment came after the Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday that a conglomerate of Israeli and Chinese companies has sued the Israeli government in the Tel Aviv District Court for denying their bid for a Tel Aviv light rail project, saying it was based on illegal US pressure.

Several people with knowledge of the matter confirmed the report on Monday. The Global Times has learned that the Israeli government's move to deny the Tel Aviv light rail project tender to Chinese companies reflect a contest of political and diplomatic strength.

Along with deeper China-Israel cooperation, Chinese companies are participating in a growing number of large projects in Israel, while making more acquisitions in the country, especially in emerging technology sectors. This has aroused attention, suspicion and even concern from some Western countries. However, the light rail project is not a high-tech project, but has also been faced increasing pressure from the US.

Both the Biden and Trump administrations have strongly pressured the Israeli government to deny bids by Chinese companies to build critical infrastructure projects, especially in communications and technological sectors, the report said.

Of course, China-Israel cooperation will be inevitably impacted by the China-US relationship, the source said, citing the example of Israel refusing to sell airborne early warning system to China following US pressure, leading to a negative impact on the China-Israel relationship.

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-Israel diplomatic relations, both sides have agreed to continuously promote the development of China-Israel relationship.

The source said that the Israeli side is confident of the road it has chosen and has wisdom to maintain national interests.