The largest port in the United States is about to fall to Communist China.
You read that right.
Unless our government acts now, a foreign power that has openly declared it wants to replace the U.S. as the world’s No. 1 superpower will control the Port of Long Beach, California.
It sounds like something out of “Red Dawn,” but it’s true, and somehow CNN forgot to tell you about it.
While the major media discusses the difference between “spy” and “confidential informant,” an adult film star’s consensual relations and who may or may not have met folks with Russian “ties” (as opposed to cravats or ascots), China has been quietly building its assets and facilities to challenge American supremacy.
Now it’s poised to wrest control of the container shipping facility at Long Beach, the California beachhead where China accounts for half of the port’s total traffic.
A Chinese state-run conglomerate, COSCO Shipping Holdings Company, is on track to buy out its competitor, Orient Overseas International. The deal would make COSCO the world’s third-largest shipping container carrier, double its share in the U.S. market and give it control of the Long Beach facility, which its rival had a long-term concession to operate.
Since China’s been using the port to land their illegally subsidized, slave-labor-produced, American-job-killing, stolen-property counterfeit goods, it might as well own it, right?
It’s even worse than that.
The Long Beach deal is properly understood in the context of China’s ongoing acquisition of ports and naval facilities in strategic locations around the world. And that is merely a step forward in China’s Long March to global hegemony.
China is building its global military and political assets behind a commercial façade. Just as the British Crown used the East India Company (of Boston tea party fame) as an instrument to advance its imperial interests, China’s Communist Party deploys state-owned “commercial” companies to expand its influence globally.
In 2016, Beijing extended its tentacles into the Mediterranean when COSCO gained control of the Greek port of Piraeus. Athens surrendered its sovereign powers, allowing the company under the control of the Chinese Communist Party “to act as owner, regulator, operator, and developer of the entire port,” National Review reports.
Soon, China’s navy was making port calls and conducting military exercises in the Med, and Greece was blocking human rights votes in the U.N. at China’s behest. Even the usually complacent European Union warned that China is using its investments in ports and other assets to further Chinese interests and companies. They were shocked to find that gambling was going on.
Another state-owned “company” – China Merchants Port Holdings – acquired a large stake in the African port of Djibouti. Beijing soon built a naval support base there and deployed troops that are now targeting American pilots with lasers.
China Merchants Port Holdings also bought Brazil’s leading port for soybean exports. Brazil is China’s leading source of soy, and China has gained control over a large and growing segment of Brazil’s soybean market, analysts say. China Merchants Port Holdings says its purchase would further “the comprehensive strategic cooperation relationship of the two countries.”
Having encircled the globe, China now has its sights set on the U.S. homeland.
China’s takeover of Long Beach port is scheduled to be completed in June, but it must first be approved by the multi-agency federal panel that reviews national security threats posed by foreign purchases of American companies or assets, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., CFIUS.
CFIUS is notoriously overworked and underfunded. It’s also susceptible to pressure from financial and political interests.
Five years after the 9/11 attacks, CFIUS approved the Dubai Ports World deal where the United Arab Emirates would have taken over managing six major U.S. ports. Despite security concerns from the Coast Guard and others, the State Department didn’t want to offend “our allies in the Mideast.” Congress eventually killed the deal.
Now, our government must step up and stop the Long Beach takeover. Requiring COSCO to divest the port operations from the larger deal is a necessary step, but it’s not enough.
Beijing is notorious for using a rat’s nest of holding companies, state-owned enterprises and third parties to hide its controlling hand.
Washington must bar any other Chinese-controlled or Chinese-funded company from operating the Long Beach port.