China had at least 100 ports in over 63 countries worldwide in 2021. In 2013, China surpassed the United States for the first time to become the world’s largest trading nation.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping also proposed a major development plan known as the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the sea route part of the Belt and Road Initiative that aims to connect China with the rest of Asia, Africa, and Europe.
The Chinese regime expands its control on global ports through its state-run port operators, shipping companies, and investors. COSCO and China Merchants Group have played one of the most important roles in China’s global port strategy.
The data on COSCO’s website shows that the giant state-run company invested in 58 ports across Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, South America, and the Mediterranean in 2021.
Some of these investments are at key locations for maritime trade, including the acquisition of Israel’s port of Haifa, one of the largest maritime transport hubs in the Mediterranean, in September 2021.
The company also announced its plan in June, 2021 to acquire a stake in Hamburg’s port, the largest seaport in Germany, the third-busiest port in Europe, and the 15th-largest in the world. Before this deal, COSCO already had control over Greece’s Port of Piraeus, Italy’s Port of Trieste, Spain’s Port of Valencia, Belgium’s Port of Antwerp, and many more across Asia and Africa, and South America.
In addition, China Merchants Group is also another key China state-run enterprise that allows the Chinese regime to expand its control on global ports. VOA reported that the company controlled 68 ports in 27 countries, including acquiring eight high-quality ports in Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean in 2021 alone.
According to Chinese media Xin Tang Ren, to restrain this expansion, U.S. lawmaker Brad Wenstrup introduced bipartisan legislation on Feb. 18, 2022, to address the Chinese regime’s investments in seaports worldwide.
Wenstrup explained how China has managed to set foot in different countries and build seaports to expand China’s military, which concerns the U.S. He said, “They are trying to get dominance around the world and especially starting in their region. But this is dangerous for us as it gives them tremendous enhancement militarily.”
Wenstrup also mentioned that once the Chinese government has made its investments, they will treat those countries as their hostages. For a long time, the United States has not paid attention to this. But Australia is now aware that this is a problem and is doing what it can to slow down the expansion of those ports worldwide.
Wenstrup said that the truth of the Chinese regime’s Belt and Road Initiative is world domination saying, “One Belt One Road Initiative of China is really to be One Belt One World that they dominate in, and that’s a problem.”
The congressman from Ohio also criticized some U.S. companies that have surrendered themselves to China for money and ignored human rights violations of the Chinese regime. A real example of great concern was that the NBA had to fire a Boston Celtics player named Enes Kanter Freedom for being brave enough to speak out against China’s human rights atrocities.
Wenstrup thinks that the United States should not encourage and support Beijing’s human rights abuse. He said, “And as the United States of America, which really has been an exceptional country on this planet, should not be aiding and abetting a country that does so many of the things that they do. It should have been called the genocide games and the propaganda that goes with them. This is the country that does forced sterilizations, forced abortions at labor camps, the human rights violations go on and on.”