The title of my op-ed comes from a Chinese fable. It says that a traveler walking under the moon thought his own shadow was a ghost tailing him, and tried his best to run away from this imaginary ghost. However hard he tried, the shadow remains closely behind, and he was scared to death. The story tells us that we must not be fooled by unfounded suspicions which can cost us dearly. Unfortunately, the fable keeps repeating itself. Nowadays, there are certain groups of people so obsessed with bashing China that they are pulling all strings to frame cases against the win-win cooperation between China and other countries.
Some people claimed that China’s investment and infrastructure projects in Israel intend to steal Israel’s intelligence, control its strategic resources and threaten its security. However, they have failed to provide any concrete evidence. What these people are doing reminds me of several well-recorded incidents in history. In 2003, some people forcefully stated that Iraq had WMDs and then launched an unjust war. In 2013, “PRISM” shocked the world. Someone who accuses others of intelligence gathering has been operating a systematic hacking and tapping campaign for years, and their targets even include leaders of allies.
In China, we have another saying related to ghosts, that anyone who never did anything wrong need not fear being visited by a ghost at night, meaning that we do not fear any attacks on our integrity as long as we have a clear conscience. However, with the increase of groundless accusations against China and the misleading effects on the public, I find it a must to make the following clarifications:
First, China highly values its friendship and cooperation with Israel. Over the recent years, China-Israel Innovative Comprehensive Partnership has made remarkable progress and yielded fruitful results in areas like trade, infrastructure, innovation, culture and people-to-people exchanges. But given Israel’s territorial size, market volume, regional situation, as well as the external pressure on China-Israel cooperation and the few well-known setbacks in our relations, Israel has yet to be a focus of Chinese companies. In 2018, China-Israel bilateral trade only accounts for 0.3% of China’s total foreign trade, and China’s investment in Israel only represents 0.4% of China’s global investment. The numbers fully demonstrate the huge potential in our cooperation.
Second, China-Israel cooperation is win-win in nature. Chinese companies and investment have brought tangible benefits to Israel. Take Ashdod new port for example. The Chinese company purchases goods and services from over 200 Israeli partners and creates thousands of jobs for the locals. In the Tel Aviv Red Line project, the Chinese company signed supply contracts with more than 300 Israeli counterparts and trained the first group of Israeli workers that can operate the Tunnel Boring Machine.