Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

U.S. presses Israel to cool ties with China over support for Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting in Jerusalem on Monday to further cool relations with China and limit Chinese investments in Israel over the new strategic partnership agreement China signed with Iran, Israeli and U.S. officials said.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has been lobbying Israel for two years to scale back its relations with China. Until now, those efforts have had very little success.


  • Many Trump administration officials remain frustrated by the Israeli position.
  • Upgrading relations with China — and enhancing trade and investments — was one of Netanyahu's main foreign policy objectives over the last decade.

What happened: U.S. officials said Pompeo raised several China-related concerns ...

  • The U.S. wants Israel to sign a memorandum of understanding on 5G that would clearly ban Chinese companies from getting involved in communications infrastructure projects. Negotiations have made progress, but the Israelis are still trying to soften the language in order to prevent a crisis with China.
  • The U.S. wants Israel to upgrade its oversight mechanism on Chinese investments in the country. It currently is only voluntary and has no authority to block deals, but American officials want to see a mechanism "with real teeth."
  • The U.S. is unhappy with the fact that many Chinese-controlled companies are still competing for big infrastructure projects in Israel.

The big picture: U.S. envoy for Iran Brian Hook, who attended Pompeo’s meetings in Israel, told me that the U.S. stressed that Chinese support for Iran on the UN arms embargo and their strategic partnership agreement should change Israel’s calculations regarding China.

  • "China has made its bed with Iran. We think it is important to not let China have it both ways. They can’t strengthen Iran, which chants 'Death to Israel,' and have a business as usual relationship with Israel. We have been very clear about that. I am sure Israel will do the right thing on China."

The state of play: Hook added that China plans to start selling heavy weapons to Iran when the arms embargo expires in October, which he claimed would lead to an arms race in the region.

  • "It says a lot about China that they vote no to extend the arms embargo on Iran and enter a strategic agreement with Iran that will not be good for the security of Israel or the Gulf countries."
  • "People need to recognize that China is not a friend of the region. China does not share Israel’s security interests or those of our Gulf partners. It is important that we work together to counter China’s efforts to strengthen Iran."

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories