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Will post-coronavirus world bring chill to Israel-China relations?

Not everyone in Israel, especially in the defense establishment, is enthusiastic about cooperating with a large China company in the battle against the coronavirus.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2 R) talks during a meeting with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan (L) in Jerusalem, on October 24, 2018. - Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan on Monday became the most senior Beijing official to visit Israel in 18 years, as the two countries look to bolster their growing business ties. (Photo by Ariel Schalit / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ARIEL SCHALIT/AFP via Getty Images)

Israelis have not yet seen an increase in coronavirus testing in any significant way despite repeated promises from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the heads of Israel's health care system. Testing certainly hasn’t reached the numbers that the prime minister spoke about only three weeks ago, when he aimed for 20,000 and as many as 30,000 tests a day.

Apparently, Netanyahu was basing his numbers on the expectation that Israel would begin cooperating with the Chinese firm BGI by early April. BGI and its subsidiaries together comprise the largest DNA and genetics company in the world. The problem is that the road to real cooperation with the Chinese behemoth was strewn with obstacles. Chief among them was sharp criticism from senior figures in the defense establishment and specialists in Israel and around the world, who expressed concerns that cooperation of this kind would require exposing sensitive Israeli databases to the Chinese corporation.

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