torsdag 19. april 2018

One Belt, One Road, One Happy Chinese Navy

Chinese leaders tout their trillion-dollar Belt and Road project, especially in the Indian Ocean, as a win-win commercial proposition meant to bring modern infrastructure and prosperity to an underdeveloped part of the world. In reality, Beijing’s acquisition of more than a dozen ports across the Indian Ocean is a state-directed effort to bolster Chinese political influence and extend its military reach from Indonesia to East Africa, according to a detailed new study released Tuesday.

The report, conducted by C4ADS, an American data-driven research nonprofit, examined 15 Chinese port deals across the Indian Ocean region. It concluded that, contrary to Beijing’s public rhetoric, the economics of the deals are questionable, political control is nearly absolute, and one of the main drivers is to give the Chinese navy the possibility of far-reaching logistical support under the cover of seemingly innocuous commercial operations.