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HANSA 05-2020

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Häfen | Ports NATO

Häfen | Ports NATO warns EU partners Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic raises concerns that the Chinese influence in Europe could grow. As news channel DW reported, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a virtual meeting of defense ministers that geopolitical effects of the pandemic could be significant as some allies could be more »vulnerable for situations where critical infrastructure can be sold out« after the crisis. Netherlands-based International relations research institute Clingendael detailed the growing Chinese influence in European port and logistics infrastructure. In the European Union, Cosco owns minority stakes in container terminals in Antwerp, Las Palmas and Rotterdam and holds controlling stakes in container terminals in Piraeus, Valencia, Bilbao and Zeebrugge. In Spain, the conglomerate has a 51% stake in, and managerial control of, Cosco Shipping Ports (Spain) Terminals, which owns and operates the largest terminals in Valencia and Bilbao. In Zeebrugge, the group owns 90% of the only terminal operator. According to the Clingendael report, Cosco’s involvement at Piraeus is the only instance in the European Union where it has a controlling stake in an entire port rather than in a container terminal that constitutes only part of the port. »Moreover, Piraeus is Greece’s main seaport, while the Greek economy is small relative to many Western European economies. In other words, if Chinese port investment has the potential to deliver greater political influence for China anywhere in the EU, Greece would be the most likely candidate,« it is said. The Clingendael paper cites various Western think tanks, media and governments that have pointed at Cosco’s investments in Piraeus »as a tool for Chinese political interference in the European Union«, for instance by damaging unity among EU member states especially on European China policy. Cosco is also increasingly focused on developing the port from a major transhipment hub »into a significant entry/ exit point for overland trade between Piraeus and Central Europe«, the report says. The so-called China–Europe Land– Sea Express Route (LSER) is said to have a delivery time about seven days shorter compared to traditional shipping routes to European hubs. By connecting its shipping routes with China–Europe Railway Express, Cosco aims to develop itself into a one-stop service provider »linking the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road«. The Clingendal research suggests that the ambition is to »establish the LSER as a north–south transport corridor from Piraeus up to Hamburg via the Balkans, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany«.n WORLDWIDE SHIPYARDS 2020 handbook Order your advert 2020 www.EQUIP 4 www.SHIP 2 Order online: ship2yard. com/ ad 56 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 05 | 2020

Häfen | Ports /trailer the leading international maritime trade fair driving the maritime transition 8 –11 sept 2020 hamburg From construction to repair, from digitalised supply chains to alternative propulsion, technological change in the maritime industry impacts shipbuilders everywhere. At SMM you can meet the world’s leading suppliers for your business. Be there to discover solutions that make shipping greener, smarter and safer: buy eTicket and save up to 25% or redeem invitation eTicket = easy access • 2,200+ exhibitors from the entire maritime value chain • 50,000 industry professionals from 120+ countries • The latest in autonomous shipping, 3D printing, AI and VR • Special theme routes for visitors, e.g. Digital Route • Top-notch conferences and first-class networking events #SMMfair HANSA – International Maritime Journal 05 | 2020 57

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