Magazine July 08, 2019, Issue

How China Weaponized the Global Supply Chain

(Luba Myts)
Ports, containers, and the Internet are now means for Beijing to project power

Before 9/11, no one thought of commercial airliners as weapons. But the attack on the Twin Towers transformed the air-travel system into a battlespace.

And although no one thinks of container ships as weapons today, China is weaponizing the global supply chain. The vessels of China’s state-owned shipping companies no longer merely carry merchandise. Sailing to a global network of ports under Chinese control, they’re carrying Chinese power.

China’s dominance of global manufacturing rests on a triad of commercial capabilities that emerged as byproducts of the country’s industrialization. China developed expertise in port construction and operation, container shipping and logistics, and electronic

This article appears as “Logistics with Chinese Characteristics” in the July 8, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Christopher R. O'DeaMr. O’Dea is an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute. He is working on a book about China’s maritime commercial network.

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