Event — Lecture

COSCO's investment in Piraeus and the question of 'influence'

A lecture by Dr Konstantinos Tsimonis, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Society at King's College London. In his presentation Dr Tsimonis will focus on the landmark investment by the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) in the port of Piraeus, analyzing its political, social, economic, and environmental impacts. He will examine COSCO's investment as an embedded phenomenon, highlighting the roles of local, regional, and global actors to evaluate the extent of 'Chinese influence’ in a national context. 

The lecture

So far, the debate on the drivers of Chinese investment has concentrated on the geopolitical ambitions of the central government in Beijing and on the role of Chinese subnational actors (provincial governments and State-Owned Enterprises). The case of Piraeus will demonstrate the importance of integrating non-PRC, non-state and local actors in our analysis.

In his talk Dr Tsimonis will examine the landmark investment of the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) in the port of Piraeus, offering a comprehensive analysis of its multifaceted repercussions. He will explore the political, social, economic, and environmental impacts of COSCO's involvement, emphasizing its significance not only as a commercial venture but as a deeply embedded phenomenon within broader geopolitical and economic frameworks. By unpacking the agency of various actors involved—from local Greek stakeholders and European entities to the Chinese government and global maritime industry players—the talk aims to provide a nuanced understanding of how these forces intersect and shape Chinese investments. One key aspect of the presentation will be an assessment of the notion of 'Chinese influence'. This will involve a critical examination of the strategies employed by COSCO and the Chinese government, the responses of local and regional actors, and the broader implications for international relations and and sustainable development.

Venue & registration

This talk takes place in the IIAS Conference room (Rapenburg 59, Leiden) on Wednesday, 19 June from 15:00h to 16:00 (not online). 

Everyone is welcome to attend, but please register using the web form on this page because seating is limited.