Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (not pictured) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hold a news conference at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece October 27, 2022. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi

Olaf Scholz Suggests Europe Should ‘Diversify’ By Selling More Ports To China

Reuters
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October 27, 2022

by Andreas Rinke (Reuters) German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday stressed the need for Europe to diversify its relations to ensure it is not dependent on any one nation, a day after he pushed through a decision to let a Chinese firm invest in a terminal at the country’s largest port.

Businesses must ensure that they have multiple supply chains to obtain their goods and that their investments are not concentrated on just one country, added Scholz in a joint news conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens.

“Those who had not considered this carefully enough for a long time are doing it now in light of the developments worldwide,” said Scholz when asked about Europe’s China ties.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis shakes hands with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as they hold a news conference at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece October 27, 2022. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi

At the same time, Scholz defended the German government’s decision to allow China’s Cosco to take a 24.9% stake in a terminal in Hamburg as good and correct – one that brought on protest within the governing coalition over concerns about Chinese influence.

He emphasized that the “ground and soil” of the port in Hamburg were state property and would never be privatised.

The approved investment is less than the initially planned 35% stake that the Chinese shipping giant and logistics firm HHLA had aimed for and does not give Cosco any say in the management or strategic decisions.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Miranda Murray; Editing by Paul Carrel

gCaptain Note: There has been no comment on the port sale by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Supreme Allied Commander General Christopher G. Cavoli, or US Transportation Command General Van Ovost who use German ports like Bremerhaven and Hamburg to support NATO and the approximately 35,000 American troops stationed in Germany. Department of Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg and White House Port envoy Stephen Lyons have also not commented on the matter.

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