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Formerly and once again a powerful maritime nation, China has become the world's greatest driver of global trade and international commerce. The country has firmly established itself as the world’s largest shipbuilder, top contributor to the global commercial fleets and to the global seafarers’ labour market. It is undertaking gigantic port development projects and leads the world in ship recycling. It is difficult to exaggerate the enormous impact of China, which has gained a dominant role on the international maritime scene in the 21st Century.

Southampton has significant social cultural and economic links with China. The city is a twin city of Qingdao (青岛), a major port city on the east coast of China. Southampton’s Premier League has attracted the attention of one of China’s richest men for investment.

While trade with China is of increasing importance to the UK, it is no more so than in Southampton where the city's port is investing heavily to improve its infrastructure in order to facilitate the booming business from China through the city’s container terminals. At its Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020, the Southampton Solent University prioritises the strategy of internationalisation of which development of collaboration with Chinese universities and institutions is placed at the top of the agenda.

The China Centre (Maritime) has internationally-reputed staff members in the field of Chinese maritime research and consultancy and strong links with the Chinese maritime community including ship-owners and operators, government agencies, academic and research institutions and universities. The launch of the CCM was celebrated on 22 September 2015, at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). 

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