Cosco Shipping Ports and China Merchants Port Holdings have gone on a buying cargo terminals in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic rim. In January 2018, Cosco finalized the takeover of the terminal in Zeebrugge, Belgium’s second-biggest port, marking the Chinese firm’s first bridgehead in northwestern Europe.
Chinese state firms now control about one-tenth of all European port capacity.
The port deals are one of the clearest manifestations of Beijing’s ambitious plans to physically link China to Europe by sea, road, rail, and pipeline. The ports are half of the Belt and Road Initiative, snaking from the South China Sea across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal and into the soft underbelly of Europe.
In 2016, China invested over $20 billion into seaports on foreign terrain.
China Merchants Port Holdings bought a 90% share of the Brazilian port operator TCP Participações for nearly a billion dollars. Jiangsu province paid $300 million to build a free trade zone around Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi.
China is also building high-speed rail line between Hungary and Serbia.
The Khorgos/Horgos is on the border of Khazakstan and China.
China has built a new Horgos city: a core downtown, sprawling high-rise housing developments, a high-tech zone that’s banking on becoming a center for robotics, a logistics zone, and various other industrial areas.
On the Kazakh side is the absolutely colossal Khorgos East Gate Special Economic Zone, which contains the Khorgos Gateway dry port and the new city of Nurkent. This, too, is a central government driven project, with orders—and funding—coming straight in from Astana.
Connecting the Chinese and Kazakh sides is something called the International Center for Boundary Cooperation. It is a massive, 3.43-square-kilometer bi-national duty-free bazaar that has its own immigration, tax, and fiscal codes.
China’s central and western areas are being built up
Billions of dollars have been invested in building out China’s central and western cities and interconnecting them with a completely new grid of transportation infrastructure. China has added 60,000 kilometers of new highways, over 25,000 kilometers of new high-speed rail lines, and over 100 new airports.
The interior cities, such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an, Changsha, Wuhan and Guiyang, are now some of the best performing cities in China today