mandag 1. januar 2018

China’s Bid to Build the Largest Port in Scandinavia Raises Security Concerns

A small Swedish municipality is about to let a high-profile Chinese Communist Party-linked businessman build Scandinavia’s largest port on the Atlantic coast. The case shows the importance of central-level mechanisms to control inbound Chinese investments and prevent China from exploiting legal loopholes to accumulate vital infrastructure far beyond the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project.

In late November, a consortium of Chinese companies led by Hong Kong-based Sunbase International (Holdings) approached the local authorities of Lysekil on the Swedish west coast. Sunbase offered to build Scandinavia’s largest port in this small municipality of some 14,000 people, including infrastructure such as roads, railways, and a bridge to a nearby fjord. Investments in healthcare, schools and elderly care were also promised. The offer, however, has been surrounded with secrecy. When Swedish public radio first reported on this bid on Nov. 23, the headline described the deal as “secret Chinese investment plans” worth billions of Swedish crowns.