SIGNAL Note 23

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited by President Xi Jinping to Beijing to mark 25 years of formal diplomatic relations between Israel and China. This March 2017 trip was PM Netanyahu’s second official visit to China during President Xi’s tenure. The delegation’s primary focus was trade and at its core was the third meeting of the China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation and Cooperation (JCIC). The visit provided both countries with the opportunity to further broaden bilateral relations by expanding the foundations for economic cooperation and building diplomatic capital. More specifically, the events of PM Netanyahu’s trip to Beijing encouraged Chinese investment in Israel and further opened the door for more diverse Israeli investment in the Chinese market. In addition, the visit advanced the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) discussions between China and Israel – another round of FTA negotiations will take place in July.

The visit was significant in a variety of ways beyond mutual economic development. It illustrated Israel’s appreciation and respect for China’s top-down approach to business and commerce as a reflection of Chinese culture and history. This was understood to be the diametric opposite of Israel’s bottom-up business culture where individual companies, businesses and corporations act independently from the government including in international business. With Chinese companies seeking approval from both their own government and that of the country where they want to do business, Israel sought to create a framework to suit their needs.

SIGNAL Note 22

Israel’s BIG Data Technology for the Belt & Road

Israel’s ‘Big Data’ startup scene can provide practical solutions to China’s data analysis needs as it crosses China and goes outward on the Belt & Road towards Central Asia and the Middle East. The Big Data technology now being developed in Israel can contribute to decreasing investment risk by providing a more comprehensive understanding of the elements which impact global markets, primarily in the domains of shipping/tracking and infrastructural support systems. The synergy of big data cutting edge technology from Israel and China’s growing maritime and land transport will surely bring win-win cooperation while strengthening Sino-Israeli ties.

‘Big Data’ is the term coined to define the utilization of an increasingly large digital footprint left by individuals and transactions to understand a causation of market shifts. Using Big Data can help predict connections between inputs and outcomes in economic, technological or agricultural mediums. The possibilities for Big Data analytics have only recently become a reality through mega processors and highly advanced computer systems. Big Data analysis offers the possibility of mitigating many of the complex issues arising in China’s broader BRI strategy, from irrigation solutions to security management to an array of approaches in dealing with long-standing transport interconnectivity issues.

A Global Perspective of the Jewish People, 2016


Any attempt to understand and analyze the state of world Jewry faces several challenges from the start.

First, outside the Jewish-majority State of Israel, which has all the attributes of a nation—census data, economic reports, global rankings, security assessments, and political barometers—Jews live in scores of other countries around the world where such attributes are usually lacking, making it difficult to collect information and reach conclusions about their Jewish communities.
Second, in the country with the largest concentration of Jews outside Israel, the United States, census guidelines prohibit questions about religion, which means that data collection and assessment are pursued by private – scholarly or communal – sources, if at all.

Third, there is no universally accepted definition of who is a Jew. Depending on the community, criteria can range from a very open understanding of Jewish identity – e.g., anyone who considers herself or himself a Jew, or anyone who has any Jewish ancestry – to much more restrictive definitions – e.g., only those who have a Jewish mother or those who have been converted to Judaism by certain rabbis and not others.

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