Constraints for engagement with China: Dutch ports and the BRI


Recent developments have made it more complicated for the Dutch government and Dutch companies to engage with China. Like the EU as a whole, the Netherlands is increasingly wary of China's international influence. Moreover, the ASML case highlights that Sino-Dutch relations face some amount of pressure from the United States. Despite the fact that the Dutch and Chinese government never signed an overarching MoU on the BRI, China's signature trade and investment plan remains highly relevant for the Netherlands' goal of consolidating itself as Europe's largest port and a logistics hub for Chinese trade with northern Europe.

As the Netherlands seeks to balance the containment of Chinese influence with its objective of retaining a central role in international trade flows, the Government's room to manoeuvre is quickly decreasing. The Netherlands will need to increase port cooperation within the EU and continue some form of engagement with China in order to maintain its position in the future.

IAI Commentary, 7 April 2022. Co-authored with Vera Kranenburg. Click on the image below to go to the article.