Wong meeting harmed Berlin ties with Beijing, says envoy

Top News | Cindy Wan 13 Sep 2019

China's Ambassador to Germany says a recent meeting between the German foreign minister and Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung sent "very negative signals."

Ken Wu said Beijing officially summoned the German ambassador in protest.

"What happened now, I unfortunately have to say, will have negative consequences on bilateral relations and the Chinese side has to react," Wu said in Berlin.

He said Wong has been convicted of organizing unlawful assemblies, adding it is regrettable that some German politicians had received an "instigator of violent acts."

Wu added: "It's because they lack the fundamental knowledge of the situation in Hong Kong, I have to assume they want to win political capital from this."

He questioned whether German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and some of the country's lawmakers actually care about Hong Kong's freedom or whether they only want to add fuel to the fire in regards to the SAR's current situation.

Wu said the meeting with Wong harmed the relationship between China and Germany and sent negative signals to Beijing.

He reiterated that foreign governments should not interfere in Hong Kong's matters, which fall within China's domestic affairs.

Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of the foreign ministry, also questioned why Germany would let Wong - whom she called a "separatist" - step on German soil.

Beijing's admonishment came after Wong met Maas during an event held by German newspaper Das Bild on Monday night and several lawmakers of the German federal parliament over the past three days.

In response, Wong said he was surprised that his trip to Germany has become a diplomatic affair, adding Beijing's reaction reflects it cannot accept the voice of any dissidents.

"If a few meetings and a chat with the German foreign minister could affect the China-Germany relationship, that only reveals how chicken China is and how fragile the relationship is," he said.

Regardless of Beijing's criticism, Wong held a news conference yesterday to urge Berlin not to sell weapons to Hong Kong police and pushed for a German version of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

Wong left Berlin for the United States yesterday and will return to Hong Kong on September 23.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said China has a growing responsibility for the global multilateral order and it is important for Germany to engage in dialogue with the mainland regarding issues such as human rights.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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