SIGNAL Note 15


Israeli Agricultural technology and its applications within the BRI

Growing global population have pushed agricultural demand to an all-time high. Thus, realities of the food security dilemma have brought agricultural scarcity to the forefront of policy making. Through effective resource management the aims of producing ever increasing yields on par with environmentally conscious international norms will be realized, but at what cost? China, the second largest economy and home to 1.4 billion people faces the impact of food security issues on a scale not seen by any other nation member of the international community. In this position China, looks to become a global trend setter in adapting to the complex agricultural expectations thrust upon it. The question then becomes, what steps are needed to build efficient and integrated systems that will increase yield without triggering environmental degradation?

noteimg1Per China’s 13th 5-year plan, improving the environment and ecosystems are paramount in the advancement of China into a moderately prosperous society. Thus agricultural innovation and green solutions to agricultural production in Chinese markets could prove to be the best means to reach China’s environmental and socioeconomic goals. This SIGNAL note will address how increased agricultural demands have brought about innovative and pragmatic solutions to resource management in the Israeli Startup community has gained vast international recognition.

note15img2Through a profile of FieldIn, a startup which integrates equipment and resource management with cutting edge science and professional insights to increase agricultural yield, this SIGNAL note will detail how Israeli innovative techniques and production systems are impacting farming on a global scale. In bringing together a variety of disciplines to address the complex solutions needed for a growing world, this SIGNAL Note will illustrate how Israeli innovation and field tested experience have led to real progress in crop production and resource management.

SIGNAL Note 14

SIGNAL Note 14

The Inaugural ‘Israel’s China Policy’ Hosted by SIGNAL and IPS

China’s BRI has identified the necessity of policy coordination, peer-to-peer bonds and unimpeded trade as the prime catalyst for broader international cooperation and mutual economic gain. In this SIGNAL note we will focus on how the recent, SIGNAL initiated ‘Israel’s China Policy’ conference helps promote the core focus of the BRI forming the basis for stronger and comprehensive bonds between the Middle Kingdom and the Jewish State. To articulate the impact of the ‘Israel’s China Policy’ conference on the expansion and of Sino-Israel relations, this SIGNAL note will highlight the perspectives from the participants, panels with the goal of illustrating how a cohesive approach to China could help facilitate productive dialog and closer geopolitical and economic connections through the context of the Belt & Road Initiative.

On September 29, SIGNAL and the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at IDC Herzliya hosted the inaugural Israel’s China Policy conference. The Conference provided a fruitful dialog concerning Israel’s role in the BRI, economic cooperation and the future of Sino-Israel relations. To lead the conversation SIGNAL culled some of the finest minds from a variety of experts from the intelligence, academic, security and diplomatic communities within Israel as well as China. In this nexus, the inaugural Israel’s China Policy Conference provided the impetus for critical discussions concerning, in real terms, how the Israel China relationship can make broad advancements and what basic steps are essential in facilitating this growth.

SIGNAL Note 13


The impact of desertification in the BRI

The rise of the BRI creates the framework for broad cooperation between China and 65 partner countries facilitating policy coordination and economic prosperity. In addressing the growing concerns of this expansion, this SIGNAL Note will discuss the impact of desertification in the BRI’s implementation and how innovative Israeli technology and thinking can help mitigate these adverse effects. In particular this note will address how the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev’s pragmatic solutions to desertification which could surly be applicable to Chinese markets. Additionally, this SIGNAL note will describe how a new formulaic approach to water management and the implementation of technology can lead to closer peer-to-peer bonds while decreasing the negative impact of environmental degradation.

95% of Israel’s land is dry sub-humid, semi-arid, arid or hyper-arid thus Israel is almost entirely comprised of drylands accompanied by the threats of soil degradation and desertification. With this reality perpetually constant Israeli experience and successes in preventing land degradation and desertification provide a clear strategy to alleviate the growing risk caused by drought and widespread desertification.

SIGNAL Note 12


Israeli-African Cooperation and its impact on the BRI

The BRI framework emphasizes the importance of strengthening peer-to-peer bonds and broad policy coordination to facilitate unimpeded trade and a stable investment atmosphere. These concepts are reflected in the developing partnerships between Israel and African States. Cooperation between Africa and Israel not only advance the core aims of BRI but also can lead to direct benefits for China as Israeli technological expertise and security experience penetrate the sub-continent. Greater stability via Israel’s support in these areas of great importance will positively impact the Chinese economy that is now investing significantly in Africa.

From 1957-1973 Israel and African nations forged deep diplomatic and economic relations. However relations temporarily halted due to Arab pressure and oil diplomacy in ’73. Since then, Israel’s private sector has worked in Africa developing a range of businesses, bringing water and agricultural technology. Recently, the years of growing business interests have blossomed into diplomatic and political bridges being formed to amend the decades of distance between the Jewish state and African nations. The latest developments are due in part to rising security concerns but also to changes in political alliances throughout the Middle East.

SIGNAL Note 11


Shifts in the dynamic: Israel & Saudi Arabia relations and its potential effect on the BRI & Sino-Israel relations

The summer of 2016 saw important signs of significant changes in relations between Israel and the Sunni Arab world. These events are not the catalyst for but the result of an evolving Middle East. China’s 13th 5 year plan emphasizes the importance of building cooperation across all sectors to foster personal bonds which, if implemented effectively can enable regional stability and produce a less risky environment for investment and the core aims of the BRI. As such, China would surely take great interest in the improving relations between Israel and the Sunni Arab countries.

To illustrate the nature of these developments, this SIGNAL note will focus on recent shifts in the relationship between Israel & Saudi Arabia, the implications of closer Saudi Arabia-Israel ties, and its potential effect on the BRI & Sino-Israel relations. Two important events provide insight into how the shift in relations is occurring, and its impact on China.

Gen Anwar Eshki, center, at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 22, 2016

SIGNAL Note 10


‘Sustainable Food System’s Conference’ hosted by the Manna Center for Food Safety & Security: Food Security applications in the BRI

Food security and sustainable ecology stand as a significant tenet in the viability of a society in the twenty-first century. As the 13th 5-year plan has indicated, China is invested in facilitating food security and sustainable ecology to promote its ascension to a ‘moderately prosperous society” by 2021. This SIGNAL note will focus on the June 20-21 ‘Sustainable Food System’s Conference’ hosted by the Manna Center for Food Safety & Security. This Note intends to reflect on some of the practical lessons and processes necessary in ‘sustainable; agriculture, environment and nutrition, and express their possible applicability to Chinese markets. We aim to present that innovative Israeli know-how can promote increased food security and safety in a variety of settings. To best convey this idea we will focus on two of the most impactful panels at the conference- “The future of farming in Israel” & “Food policy and the sustainable development goals” to illustrate how creative and unique approaches can enable a better and more cohesive food security strategy in China and beyond.



Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak explains the reasons for the ongoing talks between Turkey and Israel

SIGNAL Fellow, and guest writer for the SIGNAL Note, Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak explains the reasons for the ongoing talks between Turkey and Israel to restore full diplomatic relations. As two key nations on the developing Belt & Road initiative, the impending reestablishment of full diplomatic relations bodes well for cooperation with China on developing both the land belt and the maritime road. The following essay was written by Mr. Yanaorocak who accompanied SIGNAL Founder/Executive Director, Carice Witte to Beijing, Shihezi and Kunming as part of SIGNAL’s delegation in September 2015. Mr. Yanarocak is a Junior Researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel aviv university. This essay was first published in its Tel Aviv Notes.

Israel and Turkey are close to reestablishing full diplomatic relations, which were severed during the Mavi Marmara flotilla crisis in 2010. This reconciliation is part of Turkey’s foreign policy recalibration under the Justice and Development Party’s (AdaletveKalkınmaPartisi – AKP) new Prime Minister BinaliYıldırım.



Israeli green Tech and agricultural advancements: Opportunities for Cooperation

As the aims of China’s 13th 5-year plan have indicated, environmentally conscious solutions which promote green development, increasing agricultural yield and efficiency are a significant priority. The shifts towards ‘green tech’ developments correspond with China’s desire to improve environmental standards while effectively developing its vast agricultural sector at a critical juncture in its trajectory into a ‘moderately prosperous society’. In this SIGNAL note we will address some of the most significant, cutting edge green and agricultural advancements developed in Israel which could provide new and innovative solutions to China’s food security.

To express how these important advancements could shape the future of Chinese agricultural production, this note will detail how Israeli breakthroughs in grain storage and biological pest control have led to increased yields, while decreasing reliance on dangerous chemicals. In short, we intend to illustrate how critical developments by Israeli innovators could promote increased food security while forming essential peer-to-peer bonds between Israeli and Chinese policy makers, an essential element of the Belt & Road initiative.



The Situation in the Middle East and the Build-up of Belt and Road Initiative Conference hosted by Northwest University

As China’s Belt & Road initiative evolves, it is understood that regional stability in the Middle East can enhance its geo-economic success. As part of the joint efforts of SIGNAL and Northwest University (NWU) in Xi’an to examine and research the Belt & Road, a conference was hosted by NWU from May 8th-9th. The topic , “The Situation in the Middle East and the Build-up of Belt and Road Initiative” sought to gain a better understanding of hoe developments in Syria may impact the Belt & Road, China and Israel. SIGNAL was honoured to bring a delegation of experts to deliver presentations at the conference. This was preceded by meetings in Beijing between the SIGNAL scholars and senior researchers in the field. Presenting on behalf of SIGNAL and Israel were Jonathan Spyer, Director of Rubin Center at IDC Herzliya and Fellow at Middle East Forum, Prof. Eyal Zisser, Vice Rector of Tel Aviv University and the holder of The Yona and Dina Ettinger Chair in Contemporary History of the Middle East and Prof. Meir Litvak Associate Professor at Department for Middle Eastern History, Tel Aviv University and Director of Alliance Center for Modern Iranian Studies.



Israel’s cutting edge technological and Security resources & the BRI

The scale and geographic range of the Belt & Road initiative clearly means that numerous factors will affect its intended aims of cross border trade and economic growth for the many countries along its path. Chief among these factors is the complex security reality which will influence investment and risk assessment related to the Belt & Road. Israel’s knowledge of global risk factors and diverse security experience seem to align well with the immense challenges in managing complex security situations involved in a diverse multinational, economic policy on the scale and scope of the Belt & Road.

In this SIGNAL Note we will evaluate how Israel’s cutting edge technological and human resources can be utilized in building a more economically viable implementation of the core goals of the Belt & Road. We will specifically address how Israel’s expertise can produce a less risky investment environment while laying the foundation for strong long term ties between the Chinese and Israeli security establishments.

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