The Port of Long Beach, California is the second-busiest port in the United States and one of the world’s busiest seaports, a leading gateway for trade between the United States and Asia. It supports more than 2.6 million jobs nationally and generates billions of dollars in economic activity each year.
Founded in 1911, each year, the Port handles:
- More than 7.5 million 20-foot container units (TEUs)
- Cargo valued at $194 billion
- 82.3 million metric tons of cargo
- 2,000 vessel calls
The Port’s loaded containers account for:
- 1/3 moving through all California ports
- 1/4 moving through all West Coast ports
- nearly 1 in 5 moving through all U.S. ports
Given its importance, for a foreign country to control the Port of Long Beach would be worrisome, not to mention a foreign country has no business controlling any port in the United States. Even worse, however, if the foreign country is one not friendly to the United States and whose politcal-economic system is hostile to democracy.
But that’s precisely what the Obama administration did.
In 2012, the Obama administration signed an agreement — a 40-year container terminal lease — giving OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Line), a Hong Kong container transportation and logistics company, control of the Port of Long Beach, America’s second-largest container port behind the nearby Port of Los Angeles.
Note: Hong Kong is a part of China, ostensibly a “special administration region” with alleged autonomy from the Chinese government in Beijing.
According to Printus LeBlanc of the Daily Torch, OOCL has been a good steward of the port with no controversy associated with the company.
In July 2017, however, OOCL was purchased by COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company), a Chinese government-owned conglomerate. Headquarted in Beijing, COSCO is the largest dry bulk carrier in China and one of the largest dry bulk shipping operators worldwide.
LeBlanc points out why COSCO’s control of the Port of Long Beach is a matter of great concern:
This is the same Chinese government responsible for dozens of hacks and spying operations, targeting the U.S. defense industry. The communist government has been assaulting the defense industry, stealing hundreds of billions of dollars in trade secrets. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been able to make staggering technological advancements because of the theft. The F-35, V-22, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System are just a few of the systems compromised by Chinese espionage efforts. After the unprecedented level of spying, why would the U.S. invite the perpetrator onto U.S. soil?
The attempted Chinese purchase of the port operations fits a pattern for the Chinese government. The Communist regime has undertaken an ambitious global project known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The initiative is a series of Chinese controlled ports, railways, and highway projects connecting 65 percent of the global population and 40 percent of global GDP.
China is using the BRI to influence policies of the nations the belt passes through, as it did with Greece last Summer. Greece refused to back the European Union’s attempt to criticize China’s human rights record, marking the first time the union failed to make its statement at the U.N.
The addition of the Long Beach Port implies the Chinese government may want to extend the belt to the Western Hemisphere. Perhaps we shouldn’t make it so easy for them.
Happily, President Trump squashed the Obama administration’s deal.
Judicial Watch reports:
Under a long-term deal sealed by the Obama administration, a Chinese Communist company was set to control the second-busiest container port in the United States. In an unreported Trump administration victory, the Communists are out after a drawn-out national security review forced a unit of China-based COSCO Shipping Holdings Co. (Orient Overseas Container Line—OOCL) to sell the cherished container terminal business, which handles among the largest freight of imports into the U.S.
One of the Trump administration’s first big moves was to get the Communists out of the Port of Long Beach. After a national security review and federal intervention, the Long Beach terminal business, which handles millions of containers annually, is finally being sold to an Australian company called Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. That essentially kills China’s decades-long contract with the Obama administration.
The deal never should have been signed in the first place considering the facility’s size, significance and the national security issues associated with a hostile foreign government controlling it….
Removing Chinese Communists from this essential port is a tremendous feat and a huge victory for U.S. national security. You’d never know it because the media, consumed with the impeachment debacle, has ignored this important achievement. The only coverage of the finalized transfer is found in Long Beach’s local newspaper, which published a brief article omitting important background information on the Trump administration’s work to take back the terminal from the Communists….
In the last few years China has bought cargo ports throughout the world, including in Latin America, the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Chinese-owned ports are located in Greece, Italy, Spain and other European locations. In sub-Saharan Africa there are dozens of existing or planned port projects funded or operated by China, according to a study that highlights the threat the Chinese investments present to U.S. influence in the region. One troubling analysis points out that “COSCO’s commercial expansion has created leverage for Beijing — leverage that has already resulted in countries that host COSCO ports adopting China’s position on key international issues.”
Thank you, President Trump!
H/t John Molloy