SIGNAL Note 25

25 Years of formal relations between Israel & China

Shared history and mutually vested economic interests facilitate the creation of deep bilateral ties. In the case of the Sino-Israeli dynamic, the past 25 years of formal diplomatic ties have seen the realization of both cultural and economic exchange expand exponentially. To highlight just how far and expansive cooperation between Beijing and Jerusalem have come in our brief official relationship, this SIGNAL Note will look back on 25 years of diplomatic relations, and the potential impact Sino-Israeli collaboration could have on the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

Reflecting the nature of the Sino-Israeli exchange, a notable development has been the important technological advancements and investments from Israeli startups into the Chinese market. Another reflection of advancing relations between the Jewish State and the Middle Kingdom are academic cooperation, high level diplomatic interactions and the economic & technological complementarity of the Israeli and Chinese systems. In line with the core aims of the SIGNAL Note series, we will expound upon the strategic role Israeli experts and exports could play in the implementation of the BRI and Chinese domestic goals as outlined in the 13th 5-year plan.

In essences this SIGNAL Note 25 aims to commemorate 25 years of formal diplomatic ties between the Israel and China and reflect upon the impact these ties could have on the advancement of China’s broader international policy projections and investments.

SIGNAL Note 24

Israel’s innovative FinTech and its applications within the BRI


China is changing the global economic landscape in terms of sheer foreign direct investment (FDI) and infrastructural development. In the context of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), financial integration, unimpeded trade and policy coordination have proven essential in expanding international markets and building new systems of finance. To reach the impressive aims of the BRI various technologies, algorithms, and innovative approaches developed within the Israeli FinTech Startup community could be game changing as the PRC pursues the “Chinese Dream” towards a moderately prosperous society. As China spurs financial growth and institutional expansion within Asia and the Middle East, the implementation of Israeli originated Financial Technologies (FinTech) could dramatically impact millions of individuals and thousands of corporations in regards to increased financial accessibility and economic development.

Aiming to support the broader policy aims of the BRI, Israeli FinTech solutions could alleviate many complex financial issues already facing the massive Belt & Road projects across the globe. Giving credence to the complementarity of Israeli FinTech and Chinese policy directives, this SIGNAL note will briefly explain the diverse range of FinTech applications within the BRI. We will outline the core aims of FinTech while highlighting market ready solutions to these sectors found in the Israel’s Silicon Wadi.

Additionally, as a result of the consistent requests for more information on the topics addressed in the SIGNAL Note we will now add a section of additional resources to give readers greater depth on the assortment of technologies and innovations covered within (look for these links at the end of the Note) as well as a selection of recent SIGNAL Publications now accessible on the SIGNAL website.

SIGNAL Note 23

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits China, marking 25 years of formal relations

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.

SIGNAL Note 21

“Strategic Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean” conference hosted the Begin-Sadat Center (BESA) & B’nai B’rith International

The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) aims to bring a tangible economic catalyst to hundreds of millions of people from Asia to Africa and beyond. Through strong policy coordination and facilities connectivity, the BRI has potential to bring vast areas of the world together by creating critical people to people networks. For this ‘Chinese Dream’ to become a reality, the PRC must possess an astute understanding of volatile regions covered in the BRI. In creating a comprehensive strategy to mitigate the evolving security demands of the modern-day Silk Road, China must rely on regional partners, and battle tested experience to direct pragmatic policy. With the insight of invested regional partners, China can decrease investment risk, stabilize energy markets and enhance security.

In this vein, SIGNAL Note 21 will focus on the innovative and authoritative approaches to Middle East stability coming out of Israel’s premier research institutes. In connecting the world renown security expertise of Israel with the multifaceted security threats being faced across the BRI we intend to illustrate how closer Sino-Israel bonds could benefit China. To highlight the value Israel brings to the global security discussion, SIGNAL Note 21 will touch upon the important ideas and insights offered during the Feb 21, 2017, conference on “Strategic Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean” hosted the Begin-Sadat Center (BESA) along with B’nai B’rith International.

SIGNAL Note 20

Israeli Green energy innovation and its applications in China and beyond

Rising global energy demand drives innovation, producing reliable and environmentally conscious solutions with the potential to solve the ever-increasing energy burden. Leading the way in energy developments are so-called green technologies ranging from photovoltaic materials to clean coal technologies. These are all aimed at decreasing CO2 emissions and in (the process) shifting international energy reliance. It’s not just environmental consciousness that’s driving a shift in energy production, it’s the bottom line. Eco-friendly solutions to energy demands are increasingly economically sustainable. Therefore, the moral imperative to find effective green solutions becomes more tangible.

SIGNAL Note 19

Israeli space tech and its potential impact on Sino-Israel cooperation

The prospects of space innovation provide the scientific and technological drive to influence markets. Across civilian sectors, the advancements made in space enable increased safety and environmental management on the ground. In utilizing space technology, China can facilitate broader scientific cooperation while mitigating costs of R&D. As such, SIGNAL Note 19 will touch on how partnerships between Israeli and Chinese partners could result in important scientific and economically impactful discoveries.

In line with the broader ambitions of China’s 13th 5-year plan, chiefly promoting innovation, environmentally conscious growth and policy connectivity, the PRC released a White Paper on China’s Space Activities in 2016. In response to the White Paper, we will elaborate on the added value Israeli technology and innovative methods could bring to the ever-modernizing Chinese space program. As in previous SIGNAL Notes, we will touch on how Israeli military innovations are paying vast dividends to the civilian sector in the fields of agricultural and security.

Through the context of the BRI, we will illustrate how Israeli space tech could facilitate closer working relationships between Israeli and Chinese players in security and environmental applications. In drawing a clear connection between Israeli innovation and China’s space program, this SIGNAL Note will reflect how closer Sino-Israeli cooperation could help China reach its ambitious policy projections to become a ‘Moderately Prosperous Society.’

SIGNAL Note 18

Israeli UAS applications in the BRI

The heart and soul of China’s global development lies in policy connectivity and innovative solutions. These core goals have been enshrined in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to ensure mutually beneficial economic growth and international infrastructural expansion. This SIGNAL note will address how policy connectivity and innovative designs could be enhanced through the integration of Israeli developed Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). To illustrate how Israeli UAS could be used to resolve numerous issues across the BRI, this note will use security and agricultural applications to show the value of UAS in action.

In using the context of agriculture and security we intend to highlight how innovative Israeli solutions can be applied to the benefit of Chinese investors. For the BRI and China in general, UAS could provide the means to add security and increase domestic agricultural production at low cost. Though decades of research and development Israeli engineers have produced tactical aerial solutions to promote regional stability. In practice these UAS have proven to be cost efficient and game changing to ensuring security and increased agricultural production. As such, this SIGNAL note will bring to life how Israeli produced UAS could be used in numerous settings across the BRI.

SIGNAL Note 17

Israel Strengthen ties with Central Asian Nations bringing security and technology to the BRI

As the modern day Silk Road or Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) departs the PRC, the first stop is Central Asia. With vast natural resources and geostrategic significance, Central Asia’s stability is essential to the growth and implementation of many BRI projects. As such, Israel’s strong relations with Central Asian countries could facilitate the BRI’s success. Israel’s well known areas of expertise relevant for this region include security and agricultural technology currently being used in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
This month’s visit of Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan illustrate how Israeli technology and innovative solutions strengthen resource management and could be incorporated in BRI projects in these important Central Asian nations. The trip also highlighted how Israeli approaches to security threats have already begun to prevent security the escalation of situations across Central Asia.

SIGNAL Note 16

Israel’s emergency response network

In 2016, Israel’s emergency response network was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the international leader in disaster relief. In recognition of Israel’s EMR preparedness, the WHO recently accredited the IDF Medical Corps at the level of type 3+ designation. Only a handful of emergency medical response teams could even attempt to qualify for Type 3 status. In fact, no other nation in the world ever received the coveted 3 score. This SIGNAL Note entited ‘Israel’s Emergency Medicine, Global Trend Setter’ discusses why Israel received this award and the important contribution made by IDF’s medical corps.

This note will show how emergency medical procedures developed by the Jewish state could prove essential to China’s increasing role in international emergency response community. Israeli disaster relief teams have found creative and lifesaving methods to prevent major casualties. Additionally, this SIGNAL Note will touch on how Israel’s creative solutions for emergency medicine could help facilitate the aims of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

Natural disasters and humanitarian crises often require a concerted international effort to address the large-scale humanitarian damages which follow. To organize this complicated and time sensitive process the World Health Organization (WTO) has created the Emergency Response Framework (ERF). This organization defines the protocol for procedure. It details the requirements and experience needed to prevent the further loss of life and destabilization of WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) infrastructure.

Older Articles
The SIGNAL Note is a Chinese-English publication by SIGNAL's researchers on Israel and the Belt & Road Initiative.