The “Markus Lanz” round takes Kevin Kühnert through the wringer in the China participation in the port of Hamburg. He gets heavily on the defensive.
Hamburg – The “Markus Lanz” round on Tuesday evening also starts with the topic of the Ukraine war. The war reporter Frederik Pleitgen, who was connected via video, reports how a “battle of annihilation” emanating from Russia is taking place, especially in eastern Ukraine. Despite the attacks that are turning small towns into dystopian theaters, Ukrainian forces are optimistic they can push back Russian troops further.
Military expert Sönke Neitzel expects the war to last much longer: “It may not be the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.”
Ukraine war at “Markus Lanz” – military expert and war reporter agree: “Russia is weak”
The Russian army is currently focused on destroying Ukrainian infrastructure, from power lines to thermal power plants – doing everything that makes life difficult for people in the east of the country in winter. For Neitzel, this action is a sign of Russia’s weakness, which tends to bind the Ukrainian population even further together: “No one has ever won a war with these methods.”
Talkmaster Markus Lanz makes the connection to SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert. He confronts him with a quote from parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich, who recently called for a “diplomatic offensive”. Kühnert explains that what is meant is the need to prepare for the moment “when diplomatic means can come into play”. This is currently not the case – but it is “also about sending signals now”. For example in the direction of Annalena Baerbock’s (Greens) Foreign Office, which must prepare for a return to diplomacy.
Neitzel amuse Kühnert’s explanations. From his point of view, Mützenich’s announcement is simply a “message to the left wing of the SPD”, which criticizes further militarization.
“Markus Lanz” – these were his guests on October 25th
- Kevin Kuehnert – SPD General Secretary
- Julia Loehr – journalist
- Sonke Neitzel – military expert
- Frederik Pleitgen – War reporter
Afterwards, host Lanz has journalist Julia Löhr explain the interest of the Chinese state-owned company Cosco in shares in the Port of Hamburg. Cosco would like to take a 35 percent stake in one of the four container terminals in the Port of Hamburg. Although the investment sum of 65 million euros is not particularly high, Germany is “a piece of the puzzle in a big strategy” in China’s plans. In view of the painfully demonstrated dependence on Russia for energy, the question arises as to whether such Chinese participation is really wanted.
Chinese participation in the port of Hamburg? “Markus Lanz” debates the possible consequences
Although it is nothing new that Chinese companies are buying into Germany and it is “only” about a stake in the operator of the terminal, for moderator Lanz there is still an “ugly analogy” to the Russian approach to gas storage in Germany: “It is a state-owned company, they produce it there, bring it here and cover the entire value chain.”
Boldly contradicts Lanz. On the one hand, it is only about a 35 percent stake in the smallest terminal in the Port of Hamburg. On the other hand, the trade volume between China and Germany as well as China and the European Union is already so high that China “already has a certain amount of control over us”. After all, jobs in the port of Hamburg depended on whether Cosco would call at it with its ships.
Lanz counters and asks Kühnert if that is an argument to “throw yourself straight into China’s arms”. Kühnert replies: “We don’t do that now. Now we don’t have to drag it into polemics.” Lanz recalls the port of Piraeus, which is leased in its entirety to China, and that development there also started with small holdings.
China and port Zoff with “Lanz” on ZDF: Kevin Kühnert is annoyed – “That’s really silly”
Kühnert shrugs his shoulders and says that nobody is striving for a development like that in Piraeus. The fact that host Lanz comments this with a humorous “No one intends to …” gets Kühnert boiling. The SPD general secretary rolls his eyes and says: “Now that’s really silly. I could get really excited about that now. This is below your level!”
He would like to discuss the Cosco participation on the matter, says Kühnert: From his point of view, the dependency is on the trading volume as such and not on the terminal participation. He himself is committed to reducing dependencies, but to do this, action must be taken in a European context and the overall trade volume reduced instead of accepting locational disadvantages in competition with other ports.
Kühnert is not impressed by the fact that six ministries, the secret and intelligence services and allies around the world are opposed to Cosco’s participation. In Germany there are “rules of the game” that have to be observed when investing in companies – and Cosco also has to abide by them. Neitzel’s judgment is harsh: “The Chinese have really learned a lot about strategy and we are incapable of strategy.” Addressing Kühnert, he explains that it is true that the investment sum is small, but the message that China is sending with such a participation be the important thing.
Cosco participation heats up, Kühnert justifies the decision: “Why should others pick the cream from the cake?”
Kühnert calls for a strategy to “cleverly” free oneself from dependencies – Lanz accuses him of speaking in bubbles: “That’s really warm air. You can’t say that we have to get out of our dependency and that’s why we’re going to do it first. I ask you, what crude logic is that?” Permanent guest Kühnert then maneuvers, as is rarely the case with “Markus Lanz”. Other European countries would “take the icing on the cake”, so Germany should “think about it at least once”. In addition, unlike Russia, China adheres to a rule-based cooperation, which can be seen in the voting behavior in the United Nations. China is there “continued in the abstention camp against Russia in this war”.
“This is really warm air. You can’t say that we have to get out of our dependency and that’s why we’re going to do it first. I beg you, what crude logic is that?”
Kühnert repeats that he supports the reduction of dependencies, but does not consider the specific case of the Cosco participation to be suitable: “I think that this is a complete exaggeration of this decision. Even with the fifth emphasis, that it’s about infrastructure, it doesn’t get any truer.” In order to get rid of dependencies in the long term, it is necessary “to get to the roots and not fight symptoms with a very symbolically charged individual case decision”.
“Markus Lanz” – The conclusion of the show
In the detailed discussion about the Cosco participation in the operator of a Hamburg port terminal, SPD Secretary General and Lanz permanent guest Kevin Kühnert (SPD) gives a somewhat bleak figure. He “has to explain what cannot be explained”, as talk show host Markus Lanz puts it several times.
Kühnert sees the problem in the nature of the debate, not in the decision itself, which corresponds to the formal criteria. People who still know Kühnert as chairman of the Jusos may rub their eyes in amazement at his transformation into the “cream of the cake” Realo. The journalist Julia Löhr, the military expert Sönke Neitzel and talk show host Markus Lanz, on the other hand, seem to agree that Kühnert and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) misjudge the seriousness of the situation and question the pro-China course adopted by former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). (Hermann Racke)
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