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Israel shuns America to embrace China

*** With China set to overtake America as the dominant force in the world, Israel wants to be their new best friend. America, not so long ago the saviour of Israel, is not impressed. China, a Communist country and Russian ally, remains a potential enemy for America in any future world war. ***

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Wednesday that he has accepted an invitation to visit China, though the visit could be overshadowed by friction over a snagged Israeli-Chinese weapons deal.

Sharon accepted the invitation during a meeting in Jerusalem with Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, the most senior Chinese official to visit Israel in nearly five years.

"It is common practice to refuse an invitation the first time, and even the second time," Sharon was quoted as saying in a statement from his office. "I will accept this one on the spot."

The invitation was made though Israel and China find themselves embroiled in a potentially damaging argument over Israeli manufactured drone aircraft, purchased by China and sent to Israel for an upgrade.

An Israeli military official said last week that the United States has demanded that Israel confiscate the drones, fearing that they could upset the military balance between China and Taiwan.

The demand puts Israel in the awkward position of having to either defy the United States, its main ally, or China, a market with growth potential for Israeli high-tech and military exports.

The argument centers on a shipment of Harpy drones that Israel sold to China in the early 1990s. The planes are designed to destroy radar stations or anti-aircraft batteries. China shipped the unmanned attack planes back to Israel earlier this year for a technological upgrade.

The United States, which fears the military technology could be used to threaten Taiwan and endanger U.S. forces in case of war with China, torpedoed a $2 billion Israeli-Chinese deal in 2000.

Although China blamed the United States for interfering in the sale of PHALCON reconnaissance planes, Israel said the botched deal caused lingering ill will between the countries that was resolved only after Israel paid China reparations.

Tang is to meet Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom Wednesday. 


Haaretz, "Sharon to visit China", 29 December 2004.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 13 January 2005.

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Tags: Israel, China, Israeli, Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, visit, China, Bejing, Communism, Communist, enemy, American, allies, Russia, ally, Russian, arms, deal, weapons, missiles, America, , conspiracy theories.

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