The U.S. Factor in Sino-Israeli and Indian-Israeli Relations

Cover Page

Cite item


The article analyses the US influence on Israeli policy towards both China and India. The United States has had and still has a significant influence on the dynamics of Israeli-Chinese and Israeli-Indian relations. The relevance of the issue stems from the growing importance of China and India in the world affairs amid rising tensions between the US and China that are spilling into a trade war. The article aims to explore the US influence on Israel’s policy in Asia. It examines the way how the Israeli leadership has adapted to Washington’s influence while promoting its strategic cooperation with China and India. The study comprises historical method, comparative analysis and historical-systematic analysis. The author comes to the following conclusions. First, Washington’s influence on Sino-Israeli relations has gone through five development stages: the first stage (1971-1989): implicit US support for the development of Sino-Israeli relations; the second stage (1990-1998): American criticism of military and technical cooperation between Israel and China; the third stage (1999-2005): Washington’s shift from criticism to pressure policy in order to prevent the Israeli leadership from military cooperation with China; the fourth stage (2006-2016): Israel’s acceptance of US demands and refusal to supply arms to Beijing (with Tel Aviv focusing on the development of trade and economic relations with China); the fifth stage (2017 - present): U.S. criticism of Israeli-Chinese economic cooperation amid worsening contacts between Beijing and Washington. The Israeli government is trying to meet Washington’s demands as well as preserve its strategic economic relations with Beijing. Second, the US factor, on the contrary, contributed to normalization of Indian-Israeli relations, having a positive impact on the development of trade, economic and military cooperation between Tel Aviv and New Delhi. Third, the US actions can be explained by an attempt to preserve its national interests. At the same time, the author stresses that the US influence on Israel’s policy in Asia complies with Washington’s regional priorities set forth in the 2017 US National Security Strategy.

About the authors

Arman Artakovich Mikaelian

MGIMO University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9922-245X

PhD Student, Department of Diplomacy

Moscow, Russian Federation

Vladimir Mikhailovich Morozov

MGIMO University

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2429-9150

PhD in History, Associate Professor, Department of Diplomacy, Vice-Rector for HR Policy

Moscow, Russian Federation


  1. Kashin, V.P. (2017). India - Israel: Difficult way to strategic partnership. Asia and Africa Today, (12), 31-37. (In Russian).
  2. Maryasis, D.A. (2018). China and Israel: 25 years of economic cooperation success. Asia and Africa Today, (7), 40-46. (In Russian).
  3. Morozov, V.M., & Mikaelian, A.A. (2018). Indian vector of Israel foreign policy. The Bryansk State University Herald, (2), 125-134. (In Russian).
  4. Abadi, J. (2004). Israel’s quest for recognition and acceptance in Asia: Garrison state diplomacy. London: Frank Cass.
  5. Ayyadi, I., & Kamal, M. (2016). China - Israel arms trade and co-operation: History and policy implications. Asian Affairs, 46(2), 260-273.
  6. Blarel, N. (2017). Assessing US influence over India - Israel relations: A difficult equation to balance? Strategic Analysis, 41(4), 384-400.
  7. Browne, N.A.K. (2017). A perspective on India - Israel defense and security ties. Strategic Analysis, 41(4), 325-335.
  8. Chaziza, M. (2017). Israel - China relations enter a new stage: Limited strategic hedging. Contemporary Review of the Middle East, 5(1), 1-16.
  9. Cowshish, A. (2017). India - Israel defence trade: Issues and challenges. Strategic Analysis, 41(4), 401-412.
  10. Curtis, M., & Gitelson, S.A. (Eds.). (1976). Israel in the Third World. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books.
  11. Efron, S., Shatz, H.J., Chan, A., Haskel, E., Morris, L.J., & Scobell, A. (2019). The evolving Israel - China relationship. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from
  12. Evron, Y. (2013). Between Beijing and Washington: Israel’s technology transfers to China. Journal of East Asian Studies, 13(3), 503-528.
  13. Evron, Y. (2017). The economic dimension of China - Israel relations: Political implications, roles and limitations. Israel Affairs, 23(5), 828-847.
  14. Harutyunyan, A. (2020). China and Israel: Evolving relationship within the Belt and Road Initiative. Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 14(3), 410-429.
  15. Inbar, E. (2017). Israel and India: Looking back and ahead. Strategic Analysis, 41(4), 369-383.
  16. Joshi, Y., & O’Donnell, F. (2019). India and nuclear Asia: Forces, doctrine, and dangers. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  17. Katz, Y., & Bohbot, A. (2017). The weapon wizards: How Israel became a high-tech military superpower. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
  18. Kumaraswamy, P.R. (2005). Israel - China relations and the Phalcon controversy. Middle East Policy, 12(2), 93-103.
  19. Kumaraswamy, P.R. (2010). India’s Israel policy. New York: Columbia University Press.
  20. Murat Agdemir, A. (2017). Israel ‘Looks East’: Besides India and China, Israel’s relations with Japan seem to flourish. Japanese Journal of Political Science, 18(2), 262-285.
  21. Rajiv, S.S.C. (2017). Israel - China ties at 25: The limited partnership. Strategic Analysis, 41(4), 413-431.
  22. Segev, H., & Lavi, G. (2019). Control of the global technology market: The battle of the superpowers. Strategic Assessment, 21(4), 79-90. Retrieved from
  23. Shai, A. (2011). Sino-Israeli relations: Current reality and future prospects. Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (in Asia), 5(2), 17-42.
  24. Shai, A. (2016). Sin veIsrael. Bein sinim veehudim. Bein Beijing Lirushalaim [China and Israel. Between Chinese and Jews, between Beijing and Jerusalem]. Tel-Aviv: Yediot Ahronot Book Publisher. (In Hebrew).
  25. Shichor, Y. (1998). Israel’s military transfers to China and Taiwan. Survival, 40(1), 68-91.
  26. Shichor, Y. (2014) Israel and China: Mutual demystification in Chinese-Israeli relations. In C. Shindler (Eds.), Israel and the world powers: Diplomatic alliances and international relations beyond the Middle East (pp. 106-124). London: I.B. Tauris & CO Ltd.
  27. Wang, Y. (2020). Israel - China relations in the Trump era. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 1-24.
  28. Xian, X. (2016). The “Belt and Road Initiative” and China-Israeli relations. Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (in Asia), 10(3), 1-23.

Copyright (c) 2021 Mikaelian A.A., Morozov V.M.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies