In January 2018, Cosco finalized the takeover of the terminal in Zeebrugge, Belgium's second-biggest port, marking the Chinese firm's first bridgehead in northwestern Europe.
Belt and Road project funding slowed slightly in 2017 to about $14.3 billion from $20 billion in 2016.
Chinese state firms now control about one-tenth of all European port capacity.
The port deals are one of the clearest manifestations of Beijing's ambitious plans to physically link China to Europe by sea, road, rail, and pipeline. The ports are half of the Belt and Road Initiative, snaking from the South China Sea across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal and into the soft underbelly of Europe.
In 2016, China invested over $20 billion into seaports on foreign terrain.