The commercial-strategic linkages and state support for PRC port and shipping ventures resemble a twenty-first-century version of the Dutch East India Company. These notionally commercial enterprises operate globally with the full financial and military backing of their home state, and the vessels that connect the ports are “ships of state,” functioning as instruments of Chinese national strategy while they sail as commercial carriers.
O’Dea, Christopher R.
"Asia Rising: Ships of State?,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 72
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol72/iss1/5