China was an inward-looking, continental power when Mr Wu was born. It rose in part by turning to the sea. Seven of the world’s ten largest container ports are in China. Overseas, Chinese companies had by 2018 helped build or expand 42 ports in 34 countries, often as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure scheme. Chinese operators own majority stakes in foreign ports from Abu Dhabi to Zeebrugge.