Chinese firms eyeing ‘strategic’ land globally: report

Reports say Chinese companies are looking for “strategic” land around the world near US military installations, including around key sea lanes and straits.

A report by the Financial Times of London said some companies could be linked to the Chinese government while others appeared to be “genuine examples of private sector entrepreneurship”.

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The report cites the Solomon Islands where Chinese companies gained a foothold even before the country moved from recognizing Taiwan to Beijing in 2019 with “similar patterns” seen in Central America and the Caribbean.

The report said Chinese investors in the Philippines, together with a mainland real estate company, sought to build a “smart city” on Fuga Island, along the strategically important Luzon Strait near Taiwan.

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However, the move sparked an investigation as the Philippine government planned to build its own naval base on the island.

The report claimed that little-known Chinese companies with small shareholders were associated with the initiative, some with close ties to Chinese security forces and government agencies.

Also read: Washington plans Solomon Islands embassy to counter China

The Financial Times report claimed that some ethnic Chinese living abroad were also being “dragged” into Beijing’s plans.

A report in Japanese media had earlier claimed that China may be eyeing food and natural resources in emerging and developing countries.

(With agency contributions)

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