Chinas Foreign Infrastructure is changing the Balance of Global Power and Influence-De Faakto OSINT Study

De Faakto Intelligence Research Observatory

Chinas Foreign Infrastructure Engineering, Finance & Management is changing the Balance of Global Power and Influence


Chinas Foreign Infrastructure Engineering, Finance & Management is changing the Balance of Global Power and Influence

Chinas strategic Belt and Road Initiative coupled with its own domestic and foreign infrastructure engineering expertise is changing the balance of global power and influence. Chinese strategy, planning and direction are nothing short of remarkable and eye opening to western mindsets. Four decades of reform have transformed China from one of the poorest countries in the world to the second-largest economy – and it’s still growing. The nation’s infrastructure and engineering capabilities are evolving just as rapidly, to keep pace with the economic transformation. The IMF predicts China’s economy will expand another 6.6% in 2018, and by at least 6% each year in the following three years. (World Economic Forum, 2018)

China has engineered dams, transportation systems, buildings and bridges that demonstrate its ability and expertise to develop exceptional infrastructure. China is transferring this expertise to foreign infrastructure projects that leverage power and influence abroad. China is partnering with foreign governments, providing vertically integrated projects that include design, engineering, construction, management and finance. Countries with weak economies & crumbling infrastructure are entering symbiotic relationships with china that trade autonomous sovereignty and security for cash. This allows Beijing to influence and manipulate partner countries foreign & domestic policy. Foreign civil infrastructure operated by Chinese companies is easily transformed into Chinese strategic military assets as required. Sea ports, energy plants, nuclear power generation, hydro dams and airports are key resources that should remain in domestic autonomous control, in order to mitigate vulnerability against foreign manipulation. Permitting Chinese companies to manage strategic frameworks abroad gives China, added value and the advantage of information & intelligence collection.

Chinese foreign management projects which compromise domestic security,

Haifa, Shanghai International Port Group development contract
• Signed in 2015, the contract grants Beijing control of the port for 25 years
• Haifa is home to Israel’s nuclear submarine force—one of Israel’s primary second-strike capabilities in the event of nuclear war
• The port’s military facilities will now be monitored by China (Watch Jerusalem, 2018)

Ashdod, Israel’s busiest port
• Is managed by a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd
• The contract established in 2014-engages Chinese interests to build an $876 million port
• Chinese port operators will be able to monitor,
• U.S. ship movements
• Maintenance activity
• Access to equipment (Watch Jerusalem, 2018)

U.S. security is jeopardized by Chinese companies running the ports
• American forces will no longer feel secure using Haifa as an extended base of operations
• America’s 6th Fleet, while based out of Naples, docks at Israeli ports (Watch Jerusalem, 2018)

• Greenland is courting Chinese investors and construction companies to help expand three airports, raising concern in the Danish government (Reuters, 2018)

• Chinese interest in Greenland, a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark, comes after Beijing in January laid out ambitions to form a “Polar Silk Road” by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming and encouraging enterprises to build infrastructure in the Arctic (Reuters, 2018)

• A defense treaty between Denmark and the United States dating back to 1951 gives the U.S. military almost unlimited rights in Greenland, site of Thule air base (Reuters, 2018)

• “We are deeply concerned. China has no business in Greenland,” a high-ranking Danish government official in Copenhagen told Reuters on condition of anonymity (Reuters, 2018)

• “Denmark has a big responsibility to live up to with regards to our closest ally, the United States” (Reuters, 2018)

• In recent years, Chinese firms have invested in several Greenland-based projects, including a mine for rare earth elements and uranium in southern Greenland and an iron mine near the capital, Nuuk. That kind of economic investment has been welcomed as a boost to the local economy (Defense News, 2018)

• The CCCC bid for the airport contract would represent another major investment. The airport has an estimated cost of 3.6 billion Danish krone (U.S. $560 million). Such a massive infrastructure project for whatever company wins could potentially set Beijing up as a major economic driver for Greenland (Defense News, 2018)

• Like elsewhere in Europe, “the big fear is that even a small Chinese investment will amount to a large part of Greenland’s GDP, giving China an outsized influence that can be used for other purposes,” said Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen, an associate professor at the Royal Danish Defence College’s Institute for Strategy (Defense News, 2018)

• Two United States senators voiced alarm about the military and political consequences if China gains control of a port terminal in Djibouti, and said they were worried the move could extend Beijing’s influence on the Horn of Africa (South China Morning Post, 2018)

• Situated on the north western edge of the Indian Ocean, at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, Djibouti controls access to the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean, home to some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes (South China Morning Post, 2018)

• Djibouti offers China the ability to operate military missions far from home (South China Morning Post, 2018)

• The American Senators are concerned about Djibouti’s termination of a contract for the Doraleh Container Terminal with United Arab Emirates-based DP World in February and the nationalization of the port in September (South China Morning Post, 2018)

Reports that Djibouti, heavily indebted to Beijing, was likely to cede the port’s operations to a Chinese state-owned enterprise were “even more alarming” (South China Morning Post, 2018)

• Members of Congress want to counter China’s growing international influence, which they see as a threat to US economic and security interests (South China Morning Post, 2018)

• US officials said they worried about China’s “debt trap” diplomacy, in which countries end up giving up control of major assets such as ports or roadways when they fund infrastructure projects with Chinese loans that they may struggle to pay back (South China Morning Post, 2018)

• Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the senior US military officer for Africa, told a Congressional hearing earlier this year the US military could face “significant” consequences if China controlled the port at Djibouti (South China Morning Post, 2018)

China uses Foreign Nuclear Projects for Power and Influence

China is constructing nuclear plants in,
• Romania, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom (Defense One, 2018)

Others to be built in,
• Argentina and Iran—and the list of projects could expand substantially (Defense One, 2018)

• The China National Nuclear Cooperation, a Chinese nuclear vendor, has identified 41 countries along the Belt and Road as potential sites for nuclear power projects. China also aims to establish long-term contracts for the construction and operation of nuclear plants, and captures new markets by covering upfront costs and providing technology and construction services (Defense One, 2018)

• Beijing is covering 82 percent of the reactor costs in Pakistan, and 33 percent of the United Kingdom’s Hinkley Point project (Defense One, 2018)

• These projects come with more than a monetary price tag. China in particular has a history of using predatory lending practices to make strategic gains. Last year, when Sri Lanka could not pay the debts it owed to Chinese companies for infrastructure projects; it was forced to sign over control of the major port of Hambantota to Beijing. China may expand this tactic to make political or territorial gains in key parts of the world by leveraging nuclear power plant debts (Defense One, 2018)


5 feats of engineering that showcase China’s growing power-World Economic Forum (2018)

China Gains Control of Israeli Ports-Watch Jerusalem (2018)

Greenland’s courting of China for airport projects worries Denmark-Reuters (2018)

How a potential Chinese-built airport in Greenland could be risky for a vital US Air Force base-Defense News (2018)

US senators voice alarm over growing Chinese presence at Djibouti port-South China Morning Post (2018)

Why Djibouti is home to China’s first foreign military base-South China Morning Post (2018)

How Russia, China Use Nuclear Reactors To Win Global Influence-Defense One (2018)

Disclaimer-De Faakto Intelligence Research is provided to first responders for situational awareness, advice, guidance and educational purposes. Intelligence is perishable and fluid. Intelligence is updated and reassessed as new information becomes available. Sources are evidence based and multiple sources are used when possible. Sometimes intelligence assessments present gaps in information, this is a reality in intelligence led operations and gaps are filled when information presents. Emergency first responders should always follow best industry practices, organizational policy-procedures and regulatory standards.