Credit: Author: Iga Kucharska/

NATO in deep water because of Chinese port investments

By Laurens Groeneveld, Maria Pankowska, | 18 October, 2022

Port terminals in European cities such as Gdynia, Rotterdam and Antwerpen-Zeebrugge are crucial logistic hubs for the arrival of US Armed Forces and equipment for the protection of NATO’s flank in Eastern Europe. An investigation by The Investigative Desk in cooperation with and FRONTSTORY.PL shows how large-scale investments by Chinese companies in these ports may compromise NATO’s response capabilities.

Gdynia, along with Rotterdam and Antwerpen-Zeebrugge, is part of a network of European ports with which the US Armed Forces has a special agreement to serve as arrival points for military equipment and soldiers. As recently as in mid-September, the famous USS Kearsarge amphibious assault ship docked in Gdynia for maintenance and logistical purposes.

But just when the US military is looking to greatly expand its presence in Europe, the usability of these ports has come into question. Increased investment in these key ports by Chinese companies creates risks of espionage, increasing economic dependence and the presence of Chinese naval vessels, especially since China is maintaining increasingly close relations with Russia.

The full article was published in Vsquare (in English), (in Polish) and (in Polish) on October 18th, 2022. Laurens Groeneveld was invited on BNR News Radio, a Dutch radio show, to talk about the investigation. Listen to the conversation (in Dutch). 

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