Identifying the characteristics of China’s maritime trading partners on the basis of bilateral shipping connectivity: a cluster analysis
Naima Saeed and
Maritime Policy & Management, 2023, vol. 50, issue 1, 42-57
China is ranked as the number one maritime connected country in the world. This study attempts to analyse the characteristics of its 155 maritime trading partners. Five components of maritime connectivity have been used for the analysis. A hierarchical clustering technique is applied to group the trading partners into distinct meaningful clusters. As China’s main maritime competitors within the East Asian region, the analysis is also applied to Singapore and Hong Kong. The clustering technique produces three distinct clusters for China and Singapore and two for Hong Kong. The results reveal the importance of direct maritime connectivity, with China having the highest number of trading partners with zero transhipment (including its top 15 trading partners), compared to Singapore and Hong Kong. The analysis is further extended by applying ordered logistic regression. The results show that the logistic performance index (LPI) and exports/imports have a positive and significant influence on clusters. Conclusions are drawn as to the potential for implementing strategies and policy interventions on the basis of the emergent clusters, particularly the need for Hong Kong to improve all five components of maritime connectivity in order to compete with China and Singapore.
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