Chinese shipping giant Cosco says is avoiding Israeli ports to avoid Houthi attacks

Largest Asian shipper tells clients it would no longer sail to Israel although its vessels have not been targeted by the Iran-backed group; Israeli partner Zim says was blindsided by decision
The Chinese Cosco Shipping Lines, the world's fourth largest transporter of containers said on Sunday it would no longer be sailing to Israeli ports in order to avoid attack from the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. Cosco is the first international company to halt all business with Israel since the attacks on cargo vessels by the Iran-backed Yemni group, began.
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Zim, the operational partner for Cosco's trade routes, said the decision came as a surprise. By suspending shipping to Israel, Cosco is seen as a blow to Zim's cooperation with the Chinese company. The new port in Haifa, built and run by a Chinese company is also expected to suffer financially.
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אחת מאוניות המשא של קוסקו
אחת מאוניות המשא של קוסקו
Cosco Shipping to stop activity in Israeli ports
(Photo: Reuters)
Cosco is the largest shipping company in Asia, and it expanded to Europe when it purchased the Greek port of Piraeus in 2016. Its activity has been divided into four main sectors: container shipping, container terminal management, shipyards and tankers carrying gas and oil.
The company's announcement is preceded by earlier Chinese policies and actions taken by companies which harm imports to Israel since the beginning of the war. About two weeks ago, Chinese high-tech importers essentially "adopted sanctions" on shipments of components to Israel in opposition to the war in Gaza. China also denied an Israeli request to hire Chinese workers to fill positions in Israeli construction after the government decided to suspend the work of West Bank Palestinians, over security concerns.
Since the beginning of the war, Chinese government officials have expressed their support of the Palestinians and voted to reject a proposed UN Security Council resolution to condemn Hamas. and called for the right of return for the Palestinians.
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מועצת הביטחון אישרה הצעה להגדלת הסיוע לעזה; וטו אמריקני על קריאה רוסית להפסקת אש
מועצת הביטחון אישרה הצעה להגדלת הסיוע לעזה; וטו אמריקני על קריאה רוסית להפסקת אש
China acting por-Palestinian in UN Security Council
According to a report published last week in the British Telegraph newspaper, IDF troops found Chinese made weapons in Gaza among the armaments used by the Hamas terror group.
A former Shin Bet cyber expert, Dr. Harel Menashri, recently wrote to Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chair Yuli Edelstein warning that China could pose a security threat since it now controls strategic assets including the port in Haifa. Menashri also warned that components manufactured in China, were integrated into the police's "Hawkeye" system, although they had been blacklisted in the U.S.
He emphasizes the need for Israel to mitigate risks and make well-considered decisions regarding its engagement with China. While acknowledging China's significance as an important country, he emphasizes the importance of restricting certain imports and preventing information leakage.
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