Chancellor Olaf Scholz has defended the government’s controversial decision to allow China to enter a container terminal in the port of Hamburg. The SPD politician spoke on Thursday in Athens of a “right solution”. After a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in response to a corresponding question, he said that it was just a terminal of an operating company in a large port with several operating companies stressed that Chinese shipping company Cosco would acquire a minority stake of 24.9 percent.

It is a legitimate concern to say that there should be no wrong influence on infrastructures. “And that is in no way the case in this case,” said the Chancellor. Land in the port belonged to the local port company, was state property and would never be privatized.

The federal cabinet decided on Wednesday that the Chinese group Cosco may only acquire a stake of less than 25 percent in the container terminal – instead of the planned 35 percent. However, six ministries were in favor of a complete ban on the business due to security concerns.

Before his upcoming trip to China, Scholz said that a relationship without one-sided dependency had to be created. Many corporate decisions are currently being made to broaden delivery routes.

The Greek Mitsotakis said with regard to China: “No one is naive when it comes to relations between Europe and China.” Mitsotakis also emphasizes that one should not be dependent on just one partner.

The Greek Prime Minister defended the decision that Greece had sold a majority stake in the port of Piraeus to a Chinese company during the financial crisis. At that time there were very few interested parties. Greece stands by what was signed. Mitsotakis said the port has performed much better than in the past. “If you ask me if I’m concerned about this [Chinese involvement], no, not particularly.”