ASSESSMENTS

How Isolation Is Bringing China and Israel Together

MIN READMay 17, 2016 | 09:00 GMT

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) speaks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2013.

(KIM KYUNG-HOON/AFP/Getty Images)

A China-Israel free trade agreement (FTA) makes a lot of economic sense. China is one of the world's leading manufacturing markets, while Israel is among the leaders in research and development (R&D). The Chinese want Israeli technology, and the Israelis want the cheaper consumer goods that the Chinese can make. The countries' economic relationship has expanded, with bilateral trade climbing to nearly $11 billion in 2015 from $50 million in 1992, and an FTA would accelerate the process. It is no surprise, then, that the two recently launched formal negotiations on such a deal. Fewer trade barriers would be good for both sides, but there are also political and supply chain concerns pushing them together....

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