KYIV — On Ukraineís Black Sea coast, the most active foreign actor is not Russia. It is China.
On the Danube, Chinese investors are mulling buying a Ukrainian river shipping company that could insert Chinese products deep into Eastern Europe. At the two big ports flanking Odesa, China Harbor Engineering Company just finished dredging Yuzhny and now is bidding to dredge Chornomorsk, and to build a rail-to-ferry terminal.
On land, one Chinese company starts work shortly on a 200 km cement coastal highway, built to take the pounding of overladen grain trucks. At Mykolaiv, another Chinese company has built modern grain silos and port elevators. Further east, Chinese companies study dredging in two more ports, Mariupol and Berdyansk.
And herein lies the geopolitical rub.