The Asia Papers
The Center for International and Regional Studies publishes original research on a broad range of issues, including international relations, political science, social sciences, and economics, among other topics of relevance to Asia.
To cite this publication: Yitzhak Shichor, "Proxy: Unlocking the Origins of Israel’s Military Sales to China," CIRS Asia Paper no. 3 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2020).
Although Israel had recognized the People’s Republic of China as early as January 9, 1950, no diplomatic relations were established until January 24, 1992. In the meantime, Beijing adopted a hostile attitude toward Israel, while supporting, in words and deeds, Israel’s Arab and Palestinian opponents. Nevertheless, an Israeli defense delegation arrived in China in early 1979, launching an extensive agreement on Israeli arms and military technology transfer to China. While this transfer served Israeli defense-industrial interests aimed also at gaining a foothold in China toward the establishment of diplomatic relations, it primarily served US interests to make China stronger against the Soviet Union. Threatened by the Soviets, Washington, and other potential Western arms suppliers, could not provide the Chinese with what they really needed: military technology to produce advanced weapons compatible with their own inventory and without leading to dependence. Israel could and did supply advanced and upgraded Soviet-designed arms, as well as the methods to overcome them. This was done quietly without provoking Moscow, unlike the public exchanges between China and other potential suppliers. This paper discusses the origins of Israel’s arms sales to China from different perspectives: Israel, China, and the US, which orchestrated the deals; and the Soviet Union, Western Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East, which competed or opposed them.
To cite this publication: Yitzhak Shichor, "The Importance of Being Ernst: Ernst David Bergmann and Israel’s Role in Taiwan’s Defense," CIRS Asia Paper no. 2 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2016).
Since the early 1960s when Taiwanese officials met Professor Ernst David Bergmann, the first chairman of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, he played a significant role in Taiwan’s nuclear (and missile) programs. In Taiwan, which he visited occasionally and maintained close relations with President Chiang Kai-shek and its military-technological-scientific complex, Bergmann also facilitated some of Israel’s conventional military transfers to Taiwan. While some of his activities in Taiwan may have been approved by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (which followed its own foreign policy), the Foreign Ministry took exception, well before Jerusalem’s rapprochement with Beijing. Israel’s military relations with the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) had been aborted by the mid-1990s, even though attempts have been made to resume defense links. Since his death in 1975—one day after Chiang Kai-shek’s—and definitely before, Ernst Bergmann has been considered, implicitly but lately explicitly, a prominent player in Taiwan’s defense modernization and one of the forefathers of its nuclear program.
This paper assesses five major transboundary-related problems currently troubling the Bengal region and bedeviling, in particular, the relationship between Bangladesh and India. These problems relate to settlement of the land boundary (enclaves and adverse possessions), facilitation of transboundary transit (road, rail, and waterway), curbing of transboundary illicit activity (smuggling, human trafficking, and covert support for radical Islamist groups and separatist militants), sharing of transboundary river resources, and control of transboundary migration. The paper’s focus is on the potential and capacity of the political entities sharing the Bengal region to identify, agree upon, and implement effective and sustainable solutions to these problems. It argues that such solutions, to be sustainable, would have to prioritize cross-border cooperation and mutual benefit—objectives that have thus far neither been aggressively nor consistently pursued in this region. The authors observe that the transboundary problems troubling the Bengal region vary substantially in the extent of their intractability and that some of them will persist far into the future. Nevertheless, they conclude that the present scale as well as the severity of the consequences of these problems are not permanent fixtures and will vary enormously with the political will, perseverance, and skill of those charged with determining the political destiny of this hugely important region.
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Please refer to our newsletters to get periodic highlights of CIRS activities. Print CIRS Newsletters are registered under ISSN 2072-6961.
CIRS Newsletter 22 was published in Spring 2017. This newsletter highlights all activities including the latest research initiatives, publications, faculty research, as well as conference participation and exhibitions.
CIRS Newsletter 21 was published in Fall 2016. This newsletter highlights all activities including the latest research initiatives, publications, faculty research, as well as conference participation and exhibitions.
CIRS Newsletter 20 was published in Spring 2016. This newsletter highlights all CIRS activities over the 2015-2016 period, including the latest research initiatives, publications, faculty research, as well as conference participation and exhibitions.
CIRS Newsletter 19 was published in Fall 2015. The newsletter highlights new CIRS publications and research initiatives, faculty spotlight, and all events over the past few months. It also highlights the CIRS SFS-Qatar Faculty Fellow and the CIRS Qatar University Fellow for 2015-2016.
CIRS Newsletter 18 was published in Spring 2015. The newsletter highlights new CIRS publications and research initiatives, faculty spotlight, and all events over the past semester.
CIRS Newsletter 17 was published in Fall 2014. This newsletter highlights all CIRS activities over the spring, summer, and fall of 2014, including the latest research initiatives, publications, faculty research, as well as conference participation and exhibitions.
CIRS Newsletter 16 was published in Spring 2014. This newsletter highlights all CIRS activities over the 2013-2014 period, including the latest research initiatives, publications, faculty research, as well as conference participation and exhibitions.
CIRS Newsletter 15 was published in Fall 2013. It contains information about all CIRS news, activities, publications, and research initiative efforts over the Fall 2013-2014 semester.
CIRS Newsletter 14 was published in Spring 2013. The newsletter highlights new CIRS publications and research initiatives, faculty spotlight, and all events over the past few months.
CIRS Newsletter 13 was published in Fall 2012. The newsletter announces new CIRS grant opportunities and highlights all the research efforts that CIRS has undertaken over the past semester.
CIRS Newsletter 12 contains information about all of the activities and events that took place during Spring 2012. The Newsletter also highlights two new research initiatives undertaken by CIRS.
The eleventh edition of the CIRS Newsletter contains information about all of the activities and events that took place during Fall 2011. The Newsletter also highlights two new research initiatives undertaken by CIRS.
The tenth edition of the CIRS Newsletter describes the research center's most recent activities, lectures, and academic publications. The newsletter also highlights Georgetown faculty research projects.
The ninth edition of the CIRS Newsletter highlights the latest CIRS academic publications as well as the launch of an Arabic-language series. This edition also reports on Georgetown faculty research and a variety of other CIRS scholarly initiatives.
The eighth edition of the CIRS Newsletter reports on all of CIRS activities over the Spring 2010 period. Highlights include Thomas Friedman's Distinguished Lecture, CIRS Working Group meetings, and GU-Qatar faculty spotlights.
The seventh edition of the CIRS Newsletter provides an overview of CIRS activities during Fall 2009. It highlights Georgetown SFS-Q faculty research, CIRS events, scholarship initiatives and publications, and working group meetings.
The sixth edition of the CIRS Newsletter, published in June 2009, features Georgetown SFS-Qatar faculty research, articles detailing CIRS lectures and events, and highlights CIRS research initiatives such as the Migrant Labor in the Gulf Cooperation Council working group project.
The fifth edition of the CIRS Newsletter was published in March 2009 and highlights research by Georgetown SFS-Qatar faculty, the Distinguished Lecture by Hanan Ashrawi, the second phase of the International Relations of the Gulf working group meetings, and various academic and scholarly programs.
The fourth issue of the CIRS Newsletter, published in December 2008, highlights the activities conducted by CIRS during Fall 2008. This issue introduces readers to the new CIRS website, the first phase of the International Relations of the Gulf working group meetings, and spotlights on SFS-Qatar faculty.
The third issue of the CIRS Newsletter was published in June 2008. In this issue, CIRS reports on its MUN 2008 and Global Media and War conferences, and a lecture by Dr. John Esposito. In addition, it highlights the work of SFS-Qatar professors Ganesh Seshan and Ibrahim Oweiss.
The second issue of the CIRS Newsletter, published in March 2008, contains summaries of lectures by Drs. Seikaly, Wasserman, Sonbol and Laude, as well as reports on CIRS' panels on the Environment and on America and the Middle East.
The first issue of the CIRS Newsletter was published in November 2007. It highlighted the American Arts Festival, CIRS research, and Mehran Kamrava's lecture on the US and Iran.
CIRS Briefs are edited transcripts of lectures hosted by CIRS or concise academic articles. They are designed to make contact with a wider readership and extend CIRS activities towards interested members of the public.
Munir Ghannam and Amira El-Zein, "Reflecting on the Life and Work of Mahmoud Darwish," CIRS Brief no. 3, October 22, 2008.
Cynthia Schneider, "American Public Diplomacy After the Bush Presidency," CIRS Brief no. 2, October 19, 2008.
Rami Khouri, "America, the Middle East, and the Gulf: An Arab View of Challenges Facing the Next U.S. Administration," CIRS Brief no. 1, August 24, 2008.