Chinese companies have participated in the construction and operation of a total of 42 ports in 34 countries, under the Maritime Silk Road Initiative, according to the Ministry of Transport of China.
The Maritime Silk Road is part of the bigger Belt and Road Initiative, which consists of a land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road.
These ports include Piraeus Port in Greece, Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka and Gwadar Port in Pakistan.
China has also signed 38 bilateral and regional maritime agreements covering 47 countries along the Belt and Road trade routes.
Beijing’s maritime ambitions reflect the fact China is the world’s largest exporter and the second largest importer.
Hence, China wants to secure access to infrastructure and resources that it considers critical to its economic development.
State-owned companies carried out a large part of the overseas port investments. The main companies include China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) and the China Merchants Group.
The Belt and Road Initiative was a signature foreign policy plan of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
It was proposed in 2013 to boost China’s trade with some 70 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
The Initiative will require massive investments in railroads, ports and power plants.
Source: Global Times