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Pentagon repeats warning to Israel on Chinese port deal

The Donald Trump administration is repeating warnings to Israel to cancel a potentially lucrative port deal with China.
Chinese construction workers work during a media tour of the construction of a new port in the southern city of Ashdod, Israel April 12, 2016. The new port in Ashdod together with another one in Haifa are both under construction and are planned to start operating at the end of 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen  - D1AESXYHZNAA

As the Donald Trump administration ramped up its self-declared "trade war" with China this week, Pentagon officials are expressing increasing concern that Israel and other Middle East nations could be falling deeper into Beijing’s orbit.

Speaking in Washington last week, the Defense Department’s top Middle East policy official said the US military is “highly attentive” to Chinese trade and infrastructure investments with Israel. The Pentagon has repeatedly raised issue with Israel’s decision to allow the government-owned Shanghai International Port Group to strike a $2 billion deal to operate Haifa Port by 2021, a port of call for the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet.

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