The continued threat of economic boycotts targeting Israel hasn’t deterred China from forging ahead with a new freight rail link through Israel. The planned link could provide an alternative to the Suez Canal.
The project would connect the 300-plus kilometers between Eilat on the Red Sea and Ashdod Port on the Mediterranean. And it could be the chance for China to gain a foothold in the region.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who regularly calls his country the “innovation nation,” hopes the cabinet’s recent decision to fast-track the so-called Red-Med project will further cement that reputation. The link, estimated to cost upwards of $2 billion, is expected take five years to complete, with construction due to start in the next 12 months.
Netanyahu recently said he was excited about the project. “It’s the first time we’d be able to assist the countries in Europe and Asia to make sure they always have an open connection between Europe and Asia and between Asia and Europe,” he said, noting the interest in China and Europe. “And there is interest for us.”
Detailed information http://www.dw.de/china-seeks-strategic-foothold-in-israel/a-17507052