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‘China Uses International Ports to Spread Military Influence’

China is using overseas ports to spread its military influence and, potentially, to covertly collect intelligence on the United States and its allies, according to experts. The Chinese Communist Party is leveraging dual-use facilities throughout the world to serve both commercial and military needs, according to Isaac Kardon, a senior fellow for China Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The most significant observations of this existing dual-use capability emerge from the network of nearly 100 ocean ports owned and/or operated by PRC (People’s Republic of China) firms in foreign jurisdictions,” Kardon said. “[Chinese] warships have now called at over one-third of these facilities, utilizing China’s trade-centric infrastructure network with growing scope and intensity to fulfill an increasingly global mission-set.” Kardon’s comments were delivered as part of a statement to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), which held a hearing on the issue of Chinese military diplomacy on January 26. He warned that the CCP’s global port network, which includes some of the largest shipping terminals in the world, could be used to covertly collect intelligence on U.S. and allied forces, as well as civilian ships. Kardon noted that the CCP’s control of overseas ports also gave the regime the capacity to effectively control international trade, and that the regime could choose to deny the use of its facilities to negatively impact adversaries or competitors, reports The Epoch Times.

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