Growing Chinese investments in overseas ports are raising security concerns around the world. The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese companies now run major container terminals in locations including Belgium, Israel, Spain, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. More than 27% of global container trade last year passed through terminals in which China- and Hong Kong-based firms held direct stakes, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants.
American security analysts say the expanding network could make it easier for Beijing to service a Chinese navy that has grown and become one of Washington’s biggest military concerns. Access to facilities run by the country’s firms would make it easier for China’s navy to sustain fleets abroad.
Some officials and military analysts say the fears are overblown. But the investments are drawing more scrutiny, and opposition recently forced China’s Cosco Shipping Ports to scale back an investment in Germany’s Port of Hamburg.
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