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Balancing Act
Israel Deepening Ties with India and China

After agreeing a historic weapons deal last month, Israel and India’s arms relationship is getting even cozier, Defense News reports:

Firearms manufacturer Israel Weapon Industries and India-based private sector firm Punj Lloyd have begun to jointly produce a variety of small arms from the Israeli company’s product line, of which some are for use by Indian armed forces.

The new venture, named Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems, or PLR, was formally opened last week, and it’s expected to tap a solid chunk of India’s small arms market estimated at more than $5 billion.

PLR is the first private manufacturer of small arms in India that produces equipment for both use by the Indian defense forces and for export.

Expect more where this came from: Israel’s superior weapons technology is increasingly prized by India, and these joint initiatives help Modi upgrade India’s defense capabilities, deepen ties with Israel, and create new manufacturing opportunities at home in line with his “Make in India” initiative.

Meanwhile, Israel’s economic clout is helping it make friends with the other rising superpower in Asia. As new regulatory roadblocks hamper Chinese investment in the United States, Reuters reports that Chinese capital is finding a welcome home in Israel’s burgeoning tech sector:

Last year, Chinese investment into Israel jumped more than tenfold to a record $16.5 billion, with money flooding into the country’s buzzing internet, cyber-security and medical device start-ups. These investments surged in the third quarter just as the U.S. regulatory crackdown began to bite, Thomson Reuters data shows.

In contrast, Chinese bidders scrapped a record $26.3 billion worth of previously announced deals from the United States in 2016, the data shows.

Israel is preparing itself for a new era, and its progress in building links with the two emerging Asian superpowers is an important global story that mostly flies under the radar.

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  • f1b0nacc1

    The EUnicks (who used to be Israel’s closest partner in weapons sales) and the Americans have made the choice to cater to Arab insanity…

    • D4x

      The U.S. Army’s new SigSauer P320 is made in New Hampshire, where the CEO is Israeli Ron Cohen since 2004. All services will get the P320:

      • f1b0nacc1

        I was delighted to see that the Army pulled the trigger (forgive the pun) on the replacement to the truly awful M9. I was shocked that they chose the (superior) SigSauer (the Glock was thought to have the inside track), but still and all…

        • D4x

          I found taskandpurpose a really interesting website.

    • Ellen

      Exactly. And now the EUniks (pronounced differently from eunuchs) will stand aghast at the new world order emerging from the MidEast. Israel will be the regional military and economic superpower and Saudi Arabia will quickly become either insolvent or another location for an Arab Revolt. This news, as the TAI writer so correctly points out, is always under the radar because the Western media prefers to obsess over settlements and Palestinians and 2-state solutions. Such idiocy is amazing. The whole geostrategic situation in the Levant is being turned on its head from what it was years ago, and the Europeans are stuck in the past. That is fitting of them, since that is how they approach almost everything. “What was the policy 30 years ago? Good, let’s continue it,” while the rest of the world rolls on.

  • D4x

    Most real news about Israel “flies under the radar”. Despite the burgeoning economic ties with India and China, Joint Chief of Staff Chair General Joseph Dunford was in Israel May 9 and 10, a very big deal, including “…A considerable time during the meetings was devoted to
    providing Dunford with high-quality Israeli intelligence on all of the regional strategic issues. …”

    Read more:

    • Ofer Imanuel

      Hmm. To view Syria, you have to stand on the Golan heights. Migdal is far too low.

      • D4x

        The author, Ben Caspit, can be forgiven a bit of poetic license. Beats fake news.

  • PCB

    And, if it creates a belt of allies on the eastern hip of the sworn enemies of Israel, all the better.

  • KremlinKryptonite

    Somewhat troubling, but not surprising. The Israelis have developed a nasty habit over the last 20 years or so of selling sensitive US technology to third parties they shouldn’t be, namely China.

    In 2005, the Israelis were actually suspended from the F-35 program because they had made a deal with the Chinese to upgrade their harpy-killer drones. They ultimately canceled the deal in order to re-join the F-35 program
    In 2007, the comptroller and other regulators in Israel advised the government that it was in danger of losing special status and military assistance from the US because it was inadequately protecting US technologies on loan to Israel.
    In 2013, the head of Israel’s DECA resigned in disgrace over failure to protect a micro cooling system, sensitive US technology, that had been illegally leased to a French company, and worse, the company had not been vetted and was actually owned by a Chinese agent who funneled the technology straight back to China for use in missiles.

    Not very many people know this, but these kinds of concerns are the reason why there is a permanent US garrison in Israel to operate some of the USs most sensitive technologies, including the plug-ins to national reconnaissance office satellites and their X-band radar which are required to operate the Iron Dome effectively.

    • Jeff77450

      Upsetting to know. “With friends like these…”

    • tellourstory

      Thank you for clarifying this. I’d read this information about Israel giving our secrets away before, but it’s hard to know what’s true with so much anti-Israel propaganda out there. I don’t know what their reasoning is besides money, but it is certainly troubling.

      • KremlinKryptonite

        Oh those arent the only instances in which it’s come up, but I suppose it’s a combination of genuine carelessness and greed. After all, china has bounced between the second and third positions for largest export market for Israel,and for some time now. It’s not an accident that mil-to-mil contact has increased right along with the trade balance.
        And the Chinese Communist Party hopes that one day some of the prohibitions on selling them technology and weapons after the Tiananmen Massacre will be lifted, so they want to build and maintain bridges to potential sellers.

    • Fat_Man

      I wish they hadn’t. They can buy much more cost effective airplanes than the F35. They could probably upgrade their existing F16s for a lot less, and get better airplanes to boot.

      “‘Simplicate and Add Lightness!’ — Designing the F-45 Mustang II” by Mike Fredenburg – March 13, 2017

      “Sweden’s impressive $61 million, 15,000-lb., multi-role Saab Gripen JAS 39C as an example of a modern, world-class fighter … costs about one-third to one-fifth as much to fly per hour as does the F-35A.”

      • KremlinKryptonite

        The Israelis have been very enthusiastic participants in the F-35 (JSF) program, however, because they need stealth and the best avionics to counter Russian-made anti-air systems, whether they be in Iran, or Syria, or elsewhere. The Gripen simply doesn’t cut it. Also, they would be more interested in the French Rafale because it has more range than the Gripen (India felt the same way).

        • Fat_Man

          “stealth might be worth it — if it worked as advertised, but it
          doesn’t. Even as you read this, China, Russia, and many other countries
          have the ability to detect the F-35 — and even the F-22 — from hundreds
          of miles away. In fact, the radars used during the Battle of Britain
          could have tracked both the F-22 and the F-35 at ranges approaching 100

          • KremlinKryptonite

            Well, I’m an engineer and an analyst, so I know more about it than the nationalreview. So much about stealth is misunderstood. Without getting into too much technical detail (or getting myself into trouble!) I can tell you that ultra low-band radars have some ability to detect the presence of US stealth aircraft….they simply aren’t able to use that spotty ‘on and off’ screen info to coordinate weapons. Ultra low-band radars are huge – as in small house kind of huge – and they are subject to spoofing and other electronic warfare that can easily confuse the already minuscule information they can provide. Be wary of sensationalist claims. US allies and partners aren’t spending billions on a piece of equipment because it’s garbage or already useless. That’s just not reality.

          • Fat_Man

            “I know more about it than the nationalreview” maybe you do and maybe you don’t. But I am not inclined to believe anyone who uses Putin’s photograph as his identification.

          • KremlinKryptonite

            Look closer. It’s not a very becoming image of the dollar-loving oil baron that W. named ‘Pooty Poot.’ And I’d use my own picture if my job didn’t prohibit me from having any personally identifiable SNS accounts.
            Feel free to seek out someone else who would know, someone you can actually have a beer with. They’ll tell you the same thing I did.
            You could also use some common sense, and trust that multiple states with their own engineers aren’t spending billions simply because they haven’t found the national review yet.

          • Jon Robbins

            That is a pretty logical argument.

            So what, in your view, is all the brouhaha over the F-35 series really about then?

          • Suzy Dixon

            Well I don’t know about you or KK but I think it’s pretty obvious is it not? How long have we been hearing about attempts to steal information on the F-35 and F-22? How long have Chinese and especially Russian state media been attacking the F-35 trying to turn public opinion against the program? That’s not something you do if those are already outmoded platforms.

    • I think it’s to prepare for when the Chinese overtake the U.S., they are very calculating when it comes to foreign policy, I am afraid.

      • Unelected Leader

        I’m going to trust the Chinese with money, and students. They don’t think or act like it’s some rising superpower. Chinese with means are trying to buy their residency in the US and elsewhere. Fewer Chinese students abroad return home than most groups. Chinese birth tourism in the US is booming. And visas for kids as young as primary school are being issued in record number…they are sending 8 year olds to America and learning English!

  • Fat_Man

    After Obama stabbed Israel in the back at the UN last year, and with the continuing hostility of the EU countries, Israel needs new friends. They ought to go out and find them. India is a natural ally endangered as they are by their Islamist Nuclear armed neighbor Pakistan. Good for them.

    • Jon Robbins

      Obama owed nothing to Israel, so the stab-in-the-back trope doesn’t work.

      And the PRC will never be Israel’s “friend.” They will be perfectly willing to acquire useful technologies to help them pursue long-term tech dominance, but friendship with Israel conveys no strategic benefits to China at all, and the Chinese have no disloyal Israel Lobby to compel them to actions inimical to their interests, so PRC-Israel “friendship” ain’t happening, no matter how much the Israelis and their supporters convince themselves that it is.

      • Fat_Man

        Obama’s personal score settling is not an excuse for dumping long standing policy.

      • Fat_Man

        It is also trivially true that states do not have friends, they have interests. But, it is important for States to identify common interests and cultivate positive exchanges along those lines.

        • Jon Robbins

          Yeah, that’s true, but the point is that while there are SOME common, if narrow, interests between Israel and China, they are dwarfed by the diverging ones–especially over the longer term as China begins to play larger role globally.

          And the Israel-India relationship will, over time, help push Pakistan even closer to China.

          • Ellen

            That is a pretty stupid comment. China is investing a fortune in Israeli hi-tech startups, more than any other country in the world. Do you think there isn’t a reason? They don’t have the culture of innovation that Israel has and never will. They have many other strong points, economically speaking, quite obviously. But not the sort of start-up innovation culture that Israel has. That is what Israel does for China strategically – it gives it a window into technologies of the future which no other country in the world other than the US can do. There is very little innovation in Japan or Europe or most of the world, in fact. And the US-China relationship is fraught with a whole host of problems, from the Chinese point of view.

          • Jon Robbins

            Yeah, yeah–“Israel’s start-up culture”–got it.

            I agree that the Chinese will get what they can in new technologies from Israel. But what Israel has to offer in that respect does NOT compensate over the long term for all the problems that it brings to its “friends.”

            Iran and Turkey are the long-term leaders in the Middle East. Israel will be held at arm’s length.

            By the way, there is another short/medium term benefit that China gets from a relationship with Israel. Because the war-mongering neocons who are trying to figure out how to contain China’s rise and the Israel Lobby who are busy demanding that the US sacrifice its interests for Israel are so overlapped, throwing some shekels at Israel can help China palliate the anti-China hawks. The Chinese, therefore, are happy to let the PRC-Israel “friendship” story help it fend off neocon wrath. Now that’s smart policy!

          • Ellen

            Your mind is addled by conspiracy theories. You should take a vacation in Palmyra (the one in Syria) to air out the cobwebs. Turkey and Iran are the long-ago leaders of the Middle East, not the long-term leaders. Countries in demographic decline don’t have a long-term leadership future anywhere in the world, and least of all in the MidEast, where manpower for armies is a key factor for survival and hegemony. Read Spengler for details.

            Turkey will never be a developed country with Erdogan as its leader. Iran has killed its prospects to become a successful modern country by allowing the country to become a pawn of the Revolutionary Guards and the ayatollahs. Neither country has leadership potential. One thing the Turks, Iranians and Israelis (and Kurds) all agree on, nonetheless, is the descent into oblivion of the Arab states and tribes that comprise them. They are finished for good. The Saudi reform plan is already failing after only 1 year and when the Saudi Royal Family goes down, they will drag down all the parasites that have been living off of their money for the past 50 years, including Western political leaders and pressure groups. It will be a pleasure to behold.

          • Jon Robbins

            “Read Spengler for details.” Obviously you mean the ersatz Spengler AKA David Goldman and not the original.

            With all their problems, Turkey and Iran clearly are the only countries who can exercise leadership in the region–especially if they can work together with outside powers who can provide back-up. They are functioning states with viable economic bases and the cultural/demographic/technological heft to lead. The Arab states–with or without oil–lack that ability and Israel is disqualified as a non-Muslim state working to complete its conquest of Palestine, which will not be forgotten despite Israel’s consummate ability to foment/exploit the Sunni-Shia issue for its gain in the short-medium term.

            When Saudi goes down–and Egypt too–I doubt Israel will consider it a pleasure, and, consequently, I doubt you will either.

            It will be Turkey and Iran with outside assistance, and since we are sacrificing our relationships with these two critical countries on the altar of grovelling fealty to Israel, the outside support will not be the Israel-addled US. The strategic benefits will accrue to the Chinese and maybe the Russians.

          • Ellen

            No one sacrificed anything with Erdogan. He ruined his relationships with everyone for his own demented reasons. Nothing can be done with leaders like that.

            You are right (even a broken clock is right twice a day) about the Sunni Arabs never forgetting their humiliations at the hands of the Zionists. Quite true. Which is why no “peace process” can ever succeed. The problem with the Arab pursuit of revenge is that have run into an opponent much worse than Israel, namely Shiite Iran. The Arabs will be ruined by their conflict with the Shiites (Arabs plus Persians), so the fact that they won’t forgive or forget the success of Zionism will be as relevant as, let’s say, the fact that the Amalekites or the Jebbusites, or the many other losers from the Biblical period, never forgave Israel for surviving while they didn’t.

            So, what. Let them stew in their own revenge. They are quickly becoming roadkill in the great game of the mideast. Putin didn’t even bother to invite any Sunni Arab interlocutor to his recent peace process meetings in Astana regarding the Syrian conflict. That is how relevant the Sunni Arabs really are (or aren’t), without or without oil.

            Iran could have been a leader in the Mideast under the Shah’s son. But now that is ruined by sectarian hatred between Sunnis and Shias. The Shias were an oppressed and quietist underclass for 1400 years and that has now changed probably forever, just as the status of the Jews in the region has changed forever. However, a Shiite country cannot be the leader of the mideast or of Muslims, generally, because the Sunnis won’t tolerate it. Your views on this matter are not relevant. You are not a Muslim believer. The views of the believers are relevant and they will not tolerate Shiite leadership of the Umma.

          • Jon Robbins

            No, Iran cannot be THE leader of the Middle East. But it can be A leader working with Turkey and Russia/China. (Unfortunately, we have forfeited the role of constructive outside partner.)

            Israel may well be successful in its ongoing plan to destroy the Palestinians as a people, but their destruction at the hands of Zionism will mean that Israel can never be anything but an enemy state for the people of the region. The Russia-China-Turkey summit and the Russia-Turkey-Iran negotiations chart the path. The Sunni-Shia hostility will play itself out, but the hostility to the Conquistador Judenstaat will remain.

            We, the US, Israel’s golem, will be the big loser strategically.

  • Jon Robbins

    OK, if Israel is now a “friend” of China, does that mean we can stop subsidizing it??

    Oh, and I’m sure Israel will be able to rely on the PRC to provide it’s much-needed supply of Security Council vetoes. LOL!

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