One Port, Two Worlds: China Seeks Dominance in Athens Harbor

Russia and China are both successfully putting a wedge between America and Europe. With their tightening grip on Athens, Europe is threatened in its own homeland and will eventually decide to turn their backs on America. The alternative is to risk potential military conflict with Russia. In the future you will likely see a third marriage between Russia and Europe — and Russian military bases in Greece.

 

A Chinese executive with shipping company Cosco has helped transform part of Athen’s Port of Piraeus into a success story. The multinational firm now has a controversial plan to acquire the whole facility and put it on track to join the ranks of Hamburg and Rotterdam.

One could argue that China’s long path to Piraeus, Greece, began on April 27, 1961. It’s the day Mao Zedong founded the communist state’s first freight company, the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO). The Great Leap Forward, Mao’s plan for industrialization, had proven to be a disaster at the time, leaving millions dead or starving. With Cosco, China had its eyes on overseas markets.

Almost 54 years later, the company is steering toward a major prize in Greece. After lengthy wavering, the Greek government– comprised of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, his far-left Syriza party and the right-wing populist Independent Greeks — has announced it will be selling the majority of its share in Athens’ Piraeus Port Authority. So far, Cosco is the most promising bidder. Continue reading

Rare Earths Rouse Pentagon Fears

Specifically, to buy rare earth and other minerals that are crucial to the U.S. defense industry, and whose supply is currently at the mercy of China and its opaque political system. Japan, for example, was starved of rare earth elements during a maritime dispute with China in 2010. The United States wants to hedge that risk, given the damaging consequences an abrupt clampdown could entail. Continue reading