China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that the US has “no right” to interfere with its “cooperation” with Germany.
Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian described US interference as coercive diplomacy, speaking to reporters on Thursday in Beijing.
The statement came after Washington “strongly suggested” that Beijing would not get a controlling stake in a controversial deal over a terminal at the port in Hamburg.
Chinese shipping giant Cosco made a bid last year to take a 35% stake in Hamburg port terminal, but Germany’s coalition has been divided over whether to let the deal go ahead.
“Pragmatic cooperation between China and Germany is a matter for the two sovereign countries,” Zhao said.
“The United States should not attack it without reason and has no right to meddle and interfere.”
Germany may allow China’s Cosco to take a smaller stake – 24.9%– than originally planned in the port terminal, in what an economy ministry source last week described as an “emergency solution” to approve the deal but mitigate the impact.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is due to visit Beijing on Friday, where he is expected to meet President Xi Jinping.
- Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon