The United States’ position as the world’s leading hub in subsea networks can no longer be taken for granted. More of the world is coming online, and China is emerging rapidly as a leading subsea cable provider and owner. This guide for policymakers describes subsea cables’ essential functions, planning processes, and common threats; explains the U.S. economic and strategic interests at stake; and offers recommendations for protecting U.S. centrality in subsea networks.
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This case study of Gwadar port, part of a series on China’s Indian Ocean “strategic strongpoints” (战略支点), reveals that while Gwadar may one day serve as a major platform for China’s economic, diplomatic, and military interactions across the region, as of August 2020 it remains largely underdeveloped and underutilized.
China’s state-owned and private companies are increasingly dominant across the global maritime supply chain, aided by an opaque system of formal and informal government support that is unrivaled in both its scale and scope.
During the second annual CSIS Ocean Security Forum on January 7, 2020, a panel of experts discussed the implications of China’s port investments along its Maritime Silk Road on regional ocean sustainability, sovereignty, and security. Watch the full discussion below.
Six years after Chinese president Xi Jinping announced the “Maritime Silk Road” Initiative, China is increasingly dominant in the maritime supply chain and the production activities that support it. This deeper maritime foundation brings commercial advantages during peacetime and could offer strategic advantages in the event of conflict. Congress has a vital role to play in addressing these challenges.