Is China trying to protect its own shipping industry?

China's rejection of the P3 alliance between three European container carriers looks, according to several observers, like an attempt to protect the country's own shipping interests, reports news agency Reuters.

The Chinese authorities' rejection of the P3 alliance between the three European container carriers Maersk Line, CMA CGM and MSC looks like an attempt to protect the country's own shipping industry against more efficient competitors, just as the rejection could be a sign of increasing Chinese protectionism, several analysts and observers tell news agency Reuters.

"This is about an industry which is very important for China, which is the manufacturing powerhouse of the world. It is very important that shipping remains competitive and shipping rates remain low to allow Chinese producers to export their goods," says Marc Waha of firm Norton Rose Fulbright:

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