U.S. bill cites 'serious security concerns' with Chinese presence at Haifa port

The port of Haifa has been for years a docking point for the U.S. Sixth Fleet. China is not mentioned by name, but it clear that the bill refers to the Chinese presence in Haifa.

By OMRI NAHMIAS
June 16, 2019 03:16
1 minute read.
Port of Haifa

Port of Haifa. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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WASHINGTON – The Republican-led Senate is joining the Trump administration in disapproving of the Chinese involvement in operating a new port in Haifa, Haaretz reported.

In a significant appropriations bill for the fiscal year of 2020, there is a “Sense of Senate” that addresses the issue.

Although China is not mentioned by name, the bill, which was introduced on Tuesday, stated that the US “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 as of the date of the enactment of this Act and should urge the Government of Israel to consider the security implications of foreign investment in Israel.”

The US Sixth Fleet has docked in Haifa for many years.

While the relations between Jerusalem and Washington are closer than ever before, the Trump administration has been worried for some time by China’s sensitive deals with Israel.


Israel’s Channel 13 reported in April that during Trump’s last meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House on March 26, the president expressed concerns regarding China’s role in major infrastructure projects in Israel, including the operation of the new port of Haifa and the fact that Chinese companies like ZTE and Huawei are bidding on Israel’s 5G network.

The bill also authorizes an amount of $95 million to Israel “to procure components for the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system through co-production of such components in the United States by an industry of the United States.”

In addition to that, there is a $50 million allocation to the David’s Sling Weapon system, and $55 million to the Arrow 3 system.

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