SIGNAL’s research is designed to bring actionable insights to decision makers working across government, business, and academia. We aim to communicate an accurate view of Israel and the Middle East in China and to cultivate in-depth knowledge of China in Israel. SIGNAL taps into research communities, industry, and academic institutions worldwide to cultivate theories, knowledge, and techniques that drive our initiatives.

Demystifying China’s Complex Relationship with Bitcoin: Past, Present, & Future

In the past several years, Bitcoin has been subjected to ever-stricter restrictions by Chinese authorities, with the most recent crackdown occurring in May of this year. Our research serves to sketch a precise timeline of China’s actions against Bitcoin, determine the incentives of the Chinese government in taking such a hard line against Bitcoin, but not going as far as outright banning its citizens from holding the coin, and suggest what the future may hold for Bitcoin in the People’s Republic. We find that the current measures taken against Bitcoin mining and trading in China are part of a top-down process that can be traced back as far as 2013, and that China has three major incentives in taking a hawkish stance against Bitcoin: preserving stability in its financial system and combating rampant financial crime, deepening China’s grip on data as part of its ambitions to create a surveillance state, and curbing rampant electricity use in order to meet its green goals to combat climate change. At the moment, the odds seem to be entirely stacked against Bitcoin in China, and the future of the virtual currency looks rather bleak. In the absence of major changes to the incentives of the Chinese government, we can expect to see further punitive measures taken against Bitcoin in the country on a path to an eventual categorical ban when circumstances are determined opportune.

China as a Conflict Mediator: Interests, Influence, and Implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

This applied research inquiry sets out to shed light on the interests driving China’s global conflict mediation efforts as well as the principles and practices employed by Beijing to resolve violent conflicts. The study serves to create a framework to interpret China’s mediation dynamics and strategic priorities, generating actionable knowledge for Israeli policymakers that contextualizes Beijing’s proposal to mediate the IsraeliPalestinian conflict within its global strategy. The present inquiry evaluates China’s mediating role in the Afghan civil war, Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, DPRK-US nuclear talks, the Democratic Republic of Congo civil war, Iran nuclear talks, Myanmar civil war, Nepali government mediation, the Darfur crisis, the conflict in South Sudan, Yemeni civil war, and Zimbabwe regime change. The paper then examines whether and how the interests, principles, and practices identified apply to the case of Israel-Palestine.

China in the Middle East

How Countries Engage a Rising China

This research project examines China’s international relations with a select group of countries: Australia, Chile, Netherlands, Singapore, and Switzerland. It looks at how these countries understand Chinese foreign policy, and conduct relations with Beijing. It also outlines the resulting consequences. Through the systematic presentation of the principles and dynamics underlying these engagements, this inquiry offers an empirically grounded framework which may guide the formulation of appropriate foreign policy strategies that can be directed towards the East Asian power. The study aims to contribute to the enrichment and crystallization of Israel’s thinking regarding China during a period of rapidly shifting international power dynamics.

History of China's FTAs

In 2016, Israel and China agreed to enter Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. For China, FTAs are not only tools to enhance trade relations, but also instruments for achieving diplomatic and strategic objectives. SIGNAL’s inquiry into China’s FTAs sheds light on Chinese priorities when forming these types of agreements and the factors determining their terms – illuminating Beijing’s strategic mindset and expectations.

Blue Book

The Blue Book is a Chinese language series, published annually, covering domestic issues and country studies. The series serves as a reference for policy experts, scholars, Party, and Government officials across China. The series comprises of approximately 15 countries. The Israel Blue Book was first published in 2015 by the Director of the SIGNAL Henan University Israel Studies Program, Prof. Zhang Qianhong. Each year, SIGNAL provides original source material for the essays, as well as original articles written by SIGNAL staff, SIGNAL fellows, and other Israeli /Jewish experts.

2017 Survey: Israeli Attitudes and Perceptions of China, its people and the BRI

This study, commissioned by China’s Ministry of Education, was initiated by Dr. Li Wei, a Research Fellow from the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) of China’s Northwest University, and conducted in collaboration with SIGNAL.

The Geography of Sino-Israeli Relations

Binyamin Tjong-Alvares

From the Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 24, Nos. 3–4 (Fall 2012), published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.