US Senate Warns of ‘Serious Security Concerns’ Over Future China-Operated Port in Israel – Reports

Middle East

The development comes amid simmering tensions between China and the United States, who have been embroiled in an ongoing trade dispute since June 2018. Along with the tariffs row, Washington has targeted the Chinese tech sector, blacklisting Huawei and dozens of affiliated firms.

The Senate Armed Services Committee passed a bill on Thursday that expressed “serious security concerns” over a contract allowing a Chinese company to operate in the Israeli port of Haifa, which has regularly hosted joint US-Israeli drills and has long been a docking point for the US Sixth Fleet, Haaretz reported.

The bill, which is said to have been included in the National Defence Authorisation Act, looks into the deal between the Israeli government and the Shanghai International Port Group, under which the Chinese business could operate the port for 25 years starting in 2021.

“The United States has an interest in the future forward presence of United States naval vessels at the port of Haifa in israel but has serious security concerns with respect to the leasing arrangements of the port of Haifa”, the media outlet cited the bill as saying.

According to Haaretz, the legislation also pointed out that US authorities should “urge the government of israel to consider the security implications of foreign investment in Israel”, without, however, directly naming China in this clause.

Israeli media outlets have previously reported that a…

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