Chinese investments in European seaports have increased rapidly in recent years. This process has triggered a debate in Europe on the significance of, and how to deal with, growing Chinese influence in European ports. This process is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – in particular its maritime component, the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) – and is among the economic and geopolitical effects of China’s growing role in global affairs. The MSR and the debate on Chinese port activities are highly relevant for the Netherlands, which is a major hub for trade between Western Europe and the rest of the world, and hosts Europe’s largest seaport.
Frans-Paul van der Putten