Recently, the Chinese ambassador urged the UN Security Council to uphold the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and not to extend sanctions on the sale of conventional weapons to the Islamic Republic. Beijing, moreover, has defended Tehran’s space launches—undoubtedly designed to test ballistic-missile technology. On top of that, China continues to buy Iranian oil despite U.S. sanctions. To Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg, such behavior should make Israelis far warier of China:
[Above all], China stands to benefit from the expiration of sanctions on Iran. A Pentagon report warns that China (and Russia) are set to sell Iran fighter jets, battle tanks, attack helicopters, and modern naval capabilities once the UN arms embargo expires. When missile restrictions expire in 2023, China’s long-time illicit transfers of missile-related parts will become robust and overt commercial trade. If past is prologue, Tehran will share these capabilities with its terrorist proxies like the Lebanese Hizballah, Shiite militias in Iraq, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and the Houthis in Yemen.
China has already incorporated Iran into its global Belt and Road Initiative to build a transportation, energy, and communications network running from China through Central Asia and the Middle East into Europe. In fact, some reports traced Iran’s coronavirus outbreak to a Chinese infrastructure project in Qom. Even amidst a widening pandemic, direct flights flew daily between Iran and several cities throughout China, due to pressure from Beijing. China now sees the legalized arms trade as the logical next step in its expanding this relationship.
If China embraces and protects the world’s most anti-Semitic regime—even arming it with weapons to attack the world’s only Jewish state—perhaps it’s time for Israelis to reexamine ties with Beijing.