Monday 18 May 2020

Chinese ambassador to Israel found dead in bed

Chinese Ambassador To Israel Found Dead In His Home - A Timeline

17 May, 2020

The US government sent a warning to Israel regarding a Chinese company bidding to construct the world’s largest desalination plant, which will be in Kibbutz Palmachim and cost more than NIS 5 b., Channel 13 reported, citing Israeli officials. The Trump administration has looked into the company and the Finance Ministry is expected to announce its findings on May 24.
"The Americans have been delivering messages gently and politely but obviously they want us to re-examine the participation of the Chinese company in the tender,” an Israeli official told Channel 13.
Top Israeli officials told Channel 13 that US officials, including US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, contacted the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office to ask questions regarding the participation of the Israeli Hutchinson Company, an affiliate of the Chinese Hutchinson Company based in Hong Kong.
State Department, May 13
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: — and how we can cooperate on the things we can do regionally together and further areas of cooperation. That was a topic of conversation. But it also sort of led to a conversation about China’s role.
QUESTION: So, I mean, I guess the question to both of you and just the uniformity of this message of – I know that the Huawei and 5G has been a huge thing, but now this – would you say that since COVID it has become more a part of the Secretary’s portfolio of saying hey, have your trade relationship with China, but when you get into sensitive stuff, or was even – did that precede it?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I’ll speak from the perspective of having – until all this started, being lucky enough to travel over a year and around the world with him and being in not every but most of his meetings. He’s been talking about this almost – I can’t think of a specific meeting that I was in with him where he didn’t bring this up. It’s been something that he’s been building, saying, for a long time. I think that because of the – because the CCP made the decision during COVID to use their officials to be so overt with the disinformation, that we have – we have seen I think the world pay much more attention to the stuff that you guys were asking me about and the three of us were paying attention to – Huawei, 5G, Hikvision – remember, we were talking about that last year at the podium, and I think that all of that is – it’s just now the world is paying attention to what he’s been saying for almost two years as Secretary of State.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Special attention for high-tech.
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Et cetera. They don’t – in addition to unfair trade practices, other types of exploitations, predatory loaning. You have just total disregard for intellectual property, right. So all of these go together and – but I think we really have to think about that. I mean, you should take a look, I did a whole interview on this with Globes, an Israeli publication, when I was in Israel last in, like, January or February. So we’ve been talking about it, but yeah, it’s separate.
QUESTION: Do you think you’re having success? Are you being persuasive with this?
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Well, I think we have a – we are – we’ve been allies with Israel for a long time. Our strategic relationship is getting closer every day, whether this is economically, whether this is in terms of military, intelligence sharing, across the board. It’s getting – and we have a relationship that’s mature enough to talk about difficult subjects, so I think the message is getting through.
QUESTION: Sorry. I mentioned that there were reports that the U.S. has great concerns with Chinese investment here in Israel. And I’m asking, though, wanted to know if you are demanding Israel to cease partnership with the Chinese firms.
SECRETARY POMPEO: So we do have concerns about Chinese investments all across the world. We’re not concerned when they show up to operate as a normal commercial entity, but when they arrive in a way that has a political dimension to it, when it is a state-owned enterprise, or it is an entity that has a nefarious mission, we want to make sure that our friendly partners all around the world understand that risk.
And so I spoke with the prime minister about these issues. I spoke with Speaker Gantz, too. Look, we want the Chinese people —
QUESTION: Are you satisfied with the answer?
SECRETARY POMPEO: We want the Chinese people to be successful. We do not want the Chinese Communist Party to have access to Israeli infrastructure, Israeli communication systems, all of the things that put Israeli citizens at risk and in turn put the capacity for America to work alongside Israel on important projects at risk as well. We think these risks are very real, and we shared with them information about that so that they could make good decisions for themselves.
QUESTION: Do you believe in – are you satisfied with the answer that you received today from Netanyahu and Gantz regarding this issue?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Oh, yes. Look, it’s always a continuing conversation with issues like this. But yes, I think they understand it too.
Embassy in Israel responds to U.S. Secretary of State claim that China concealed information about the outbreak of coronavirus as 'absurd'
Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that the Chinese ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, 57, was found dead at his official residence in the coastal town of Herzliya.
The foreign ministry said police were on the scene.
According to the Ynet news site, aides tried to wake Du and found him in his bed, not breathing. The initial assessment was that he had suffered cardiac arrest during the night.

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