The general thought has been that China’s ascendency is a fait accompli. However, more and more countries are beginning to resent the intrusive economic colonization policies pushed on them by the Chinese Communist Party.
One example is Malaysia, who marketed heavily to the Chinese middle class over the last few years in order to get them to buy a second home in Malaysia. Now, given rising economic challenges, COVID-19, and an over all reluctance in dealing with China, Malaysia is turning away Chinese citizens. This is happening in countless other countries as well.
The backlash against the CCP is growing. From neo-colonial economic policies that Beijing runs in Africa, to their coercive Belt and Road Initiative, many countries are beginning to push back.
Can Israel Stand Its Ground Against Beijing?
During the Obama administration, Israel saw the East as a potential direction to pivot towards. The logic was that these countries had almost no history of anti-Semitism. Furthermore, their trade policies were in a sense purely transactional. China for its part welcomed Israel with open arms, claiming that “Israel is another ancient culture,” and therefore CCP leaders respected it.
However, the Beijing of the Obama era was not the Beijing of today. The CCP always had a long term vision, but Trump changed their calculus. In response to President Trump’s trade war with China, the CCP shortened their timeline and began to take belligerent steps to push forward in response.
China sees Israel as an important part of its Belt and Road Initiative and while Israel has not grown negative to China’s overtures, the relationship has begun to cool. First, the US has asked Israel to be cautious of dealing with China. Second, Israel acknowledges China’s growing military alliance with Iran as being of a primary issue when selling technology or even just giving Beijing access to Israel’s ports. Third. with tensions rising high between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Israel risks drawing India’s ire if it does not begin to pull away from China.
With China getting pushed back by a global array of countries, Israel must make a decision. It is understandable that Israel’s leaders are wary of picking sides, but China’s market is far less valuable than once believed, especially when the CCP controls the entry. And when it comes to the CCP’s investment money, it always seems to come with some sort of strings attached.