7th Annual China Policy Conference: “US-China Competition, Meet the Middle East”"

Convened at the end of 2022, SIGNAL’s 7th Annual Conference was particularly timely in taking stock of the primary drivers shaping Israel’s China Policy. The conference examined the implications and unfolding dynamics of the Sino-American rivalry in the Middle East. In recent months, the U.S. has publicly acknowledged the growing influence of China in the region and has prioritized its redress, while enlisting its regional allies to support its global priorities in challenging China’s rise.

In the meantime, as SIGNAL’s in-house research showed, China continues to consider the Middle East a major geo-economic and geo-political arena demonstrated by enhanced diplomatic engagement and the expanding rollout of China’s Digital Silk Road and BRI projects that continue to enjoy ongoing funding. These trends informed the formulation of Israel’s China policy. This policy portrayed a new assessment of the balance of risks and opportunities in bilateral transactions.

Therefore, the SIGNAL 2022 conference also assessed U.S. allies’ and partners’ scope of agency and maneuverability amid the great power rivalry.


6th Annual China Policy Conference: " “Navigating Through the Storm: Israel & the U.S.-China Rivalry”"

In December, SIGNAL convened its sixth annual conference drawing together senior Israeli and international participants from government, business, and academia to assess China-Israel relations, China’s engagement in the Middle East, and the geopolitical implications of China’s role on the world stage.

The first session examined the implications for Israel of China’s growing interest and presence in the Middle East amid the Sino-American rivalry. With the Biden administration’s China strategy heavily reliant on closing ranks with its allies, the second session evaluated possible strategic consequences for Israel and its relations with China. The final session explored the emerging opportunities and challenges for Israeli businesses in China and with Chinese corporations. The concluding speech by former Mossad Chief and longtime friend of SIGNAL, Ambassador Efraim Halevy, on how China became the only country that can influence Iran to roll back its nuclear program captured notable media attention

Due to COVID-19-related restrictions, SIGNAL convened its sixth annual conference in hybrid format – broadcasting from Tel Aviv with a select live audience and connecting with speakers and participants from around the world via a ZOOM webinar platform. The full recording of the conference can be found here.

To mark the upcoming 30th anniversary of China-Israel diplomatic relations, SIGNAL in cooperation with the embassy of the people’s republic of china in Israel, convened a special roundtable bringing together Chinese and Israeli practitioners who were instrumental in establishing and building official China-Israel relations over the years to share their stories and insights. The recording can be found here.

October, 2021

SIGNAL's 10th anniversary

To mark SIGNAL’s 10th anniversary, SIGNAL and its founder and executive director, Carice Witte, hosted a reception to pay tribute to its partners and friends. MK Galant gave opening remarks and Israel’s former National Security Advisor, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, and former Mossad Chief, Efraim Halevy, delivered speeches in which they shared their experiences and insights from their ongoing participation in SIGNAL’s programs in Israel and in China.

July, 2021

Middle East Briefing for the Chinese

In mid-July, SIGNAL held the second virtual Middle East Briefing. SIGNAL Middle East briefings for Chinese policy experts are held several times a year and address strategic topics regarding the region. The briefing was attended by more than 70 Chinese officials, policy experts, and scholars.

 Major-General (res.) MK Yoav Gallant (pictured above)  gave the opening remarks. The two sessions included an  assessment of the Middle East situation by several experts on the region, and an overview of the impact of education on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

 The two sessions addressed the possible trajectories of    the US-China rivalry and its impact on America’s allies,  including Israel, European states, and the EU as a whole,  and the realistic alternatives for the respective China  policies of those actors. The meeting was held under the
 Chatham House rule.

april, 2021

Europe-Israel Strategic Dialogue on China

In April 2021, SIGNAL cohosted the Europe-Israel Strategic Dialogue with ELNET and the Forum of Strategic Dialogue. Participants were a carefully selected group of senior Israeli and European government officials, politicians, and leading experts from various research institutes. The first session explored the possible trajectories of the US-China rivalry and its impact on America’s allies, including Israel, European states, and the EU as a whole. The second session explored realistic alternatives for the respective China policies of those actors.


China-Israel Spring Dialogue

In March 2021, SIGNAL hosted the 7th round of our track II ChinaIsrael dialogue online. This dialogue was first launched in the spring of 2017 and was held twice a year until the pandemic. The Semi-annual Dialogue is an opportunity for influential Chinese and Israeli experts gather to discuss global and regional developments with the aim of understanding where there are common interests and opportunities to advance mutually beneficial policy.


5th Annual China Policy Conference: "The U.S.-China Rivalry and Israel’s Strategic Landscape"

In December 2020, SIGNAL hosted the 5th Annual Conference on Israel’s China Policy. The conference addressed 1.The implications of the Sino-American great power competition for Israel. 2. The growing presence of China in the Middle East. Considering the technology race between the two superpowers. 3. Shed light on the prospects of the China-Israel Innovation Partnership. 4. The emerging U.S.-led global and Indo-Pacific frameworks in order to explore new possible strategic and diplomatic opportunities for Israel.


SIGNAL- i24 TV coproduction

Celebrating SIGNAL’s 10th anniversary in 2020, i24 and SIGNAL co-produced an episode of i24’s Israel Business Weekly news magazine show, focusing on China-Israel relations. The show originally aired to i24’s international English-speaking audience on Dec. 7, 2020. Experts and scholars from China, UAE, Iraq and Israel looked at China’s technology & innovation interests in Israel, China in the Middle East, Israel Studies at Chinese universities and a one-on-one interview with a leading ME expert in China.

August, 2020

Briefing for the Defense Attachés posted to Israel

SIGNAL Executive Director and Founder, Carice Witte, briefed the Defense Attachés posted to Israel from around the world. The attaches were particularly eager to learn about China’s deepening ties with Israel’s adversaries in the Middle East. Ms. Witte stated that the increased Chinese presence requires Israel to convey clear and consistent messages to China. Pointing out the unique aspects of China-Israel relations, Ms. Witte noted: “After all, Netanyahu doesn’t have a direct hotline to Xi as he does with Putin.”


Japan-Israel Dialogue on China

Expanding the global conversation on China, SIGNAL invited Japanese experts and practitioners to discuss the Middle East and US-China tensions with Israeli counterparts. Indeed, Israel has much to learn from Japan’s approach of “putting a little grey into their relationship” with China. Japan’s long history with China has taught it how to deal effectively with conflicting viewpoints, while maintaining economic cooperation with the Middle Kingdom. The Japanese participants were particularly interested in recent developments in the Middle East and in China’s growing presence. SIGNAL, and the dialogue’s co-organizer, RCAST-UTokyo, determined to hold dialogue sessions on a regular basis.

May 2020

Managing US and China Relations in the Wake of Covid-19

SIGNAL hosted an open roundtable discussion in May 2020, focused on the nature of geopolitics in the Middle East in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The discussion was moderated by former Israeli MK Ksenia Svetlova and featured the perspective and analysis of political experts from communities around the globe. More than 100 people attended the online event and had the opportunity to engage in this dynamic and practical dialogue.


China and the Middle East

SIGNAL convened high-level politicians, academics, and thought-leaders from across the Middle East, including the UAE, Iraq, and Israel, to discuss the shifting geopolitical state of the world and China’s rising influence. Participants from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Singapore, the United States, and Israel attended the closed, invitation-only event. The dynamic discussion revealed not only the conflicting viewpoints typical within the Middle East but also the areas of potential convergence and cooperation.


The Global Positions of China and the US: Before and After the Coronavirus Crisis

The SIGNAL team was invited to participate in The Jewish People Policy Institute – JPPI’s webinar. Founder and Executive Director, Carice Witte, explained the critical need for Israel to adopt a comprehensive, all government approach to engaging China, while simultaneously remaining sensitive to US interests. Other speakers for the online event included Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Herzog, Dr. Shalom Wald, Dan Feferman, and Avinoam Bar-Yosef.

February, 2020

China Seminar at Yale University

SIGNAL invited experts and thought-leaders to gather at Yale University for a China Seminar. Working in cooperation with Yale’s “China Hands Magazine” and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the event featured a fascinating discussion focused on the factors that have catalyzed the state of rivalry between America and China. International political authorities from Italy, Israel, Europe, and the UAE shared their perspectives on their respective countries’ challenges and how they are navigating the new geopolitical context.

November, 2019

Annual China Policy Conference: "China-Israel Relations in a Changing World: Opportunities and Challenges"

In November 2019, SIGNAL hosted the 4th Annual Conference on Israel’s China Policy. This year’s conference focused on how key countries are dealing with China’s unique approach to foreign affairs and international relations and the growing rivalry between US and China. The conference was co-hosted by the Israel Council on Foreign Affairs and the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Reichman University. Closing remarks were delivered by former Mossad chief and SIGNAL Board Member, Efraim Halevy.