In the tug-of-war over Chinese entry into a container terminal in the port of Hamburg, the Chinese government has appealed to Germany to remain open. Since diplomatic relations were established 50 years ago, pragmatic cooperation and mutual benefit have always been the guiding principles, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
Both countries would have participated intensively in the development of the other and benefited from it. China welcomes mutually beneficial projects, the broad statement said. Both China and Germany should adhere to openness and cooperation, to jointly promote the healthy and stable development of economic and trade cooperation.
IfW: China's offer puts the port in a difficult position
According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), the offer by the Chinese company Cosco for a stake in the terminal puts the Port of Hamburg in a difficult position. "When Cosco says, 'You will become a preferred port if you accept the participation', one naturally has to ask the question: What if this participation is not approved?" Rolf Langhammer from IfW Kiel told NDR. "Would cargo then be taken from Hamburg to other North Sea ports - i.e. Rotterdam, Seebrücke or Antwerp?" This is the critical moment at this point. "Because the port of Hamburg is in a difficult situation."
The siltation problem and the problem of the Elbe deepening cannot be solved so easily for a tidal port, said Langhammer. "That means that Hamburg, as a competitor to Rotterdam and the other ports, has its back against the wall a bit." This offer from the Chinese comes almost like a threat or a threat. "According to the motto: If you don't do it, there will be negative consequences."
In 2021, the Hamburg port logistics company HHLA and the Chinese terminal operator Cosco Shipping Ports Limited reached an agreement on a 35 percent Chinese stake in the HHLA terminal in Tollerort in the Hanseatic city. Now there is a dispute in politics over the question of whether Chinese participation should be allowed.