Rapid Fire April 1, 2013: China Not Investing in Ports Abroad for Mil Purposes
- To “speculation” that China’s recent $10B investment package in Tanzania that includes port infrastructure in Bagamoyo may also have a military purpose, the official Chinese response is: of course not!. The reported claim that the port will handle 20 million containers a year sounds too large by an order of magnitude, even if Tanzania could in theory serve as a hub for many landlocked countries. 20 million TEUs would put Bagamoyo in the top 5 worldwide [PDF] and would make it the biggest container port outside of Asia, way ahead of Rotterdam or Los Angeles. A more reasonable 2M TEUs would match Durban’s volume in South Africa. But they do plan to make the port ready for very large container ships. So will China use these new facilities as a port of call for its naval vessels? Of course they will.
- It is well known that China is putting pressure on its neighbors over territorial disputes. But old claims are resurfacing elsewhere in Southeast Asia as well.