Criticism from Beijing: Maas defends meeting with Hong Kong activist
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is unimpressed: After criticizing China at its meeting with Joshua Wong, the SPD politician announced that he would continue to meet activists in the future.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has defended his meeting with Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong. He will continue to meet human rights lawyers and activists, Maas stressed in Berlin. "Our fundamental position on China's 'one country, two systems' policy is unchanged, and we support the rights that Hong Kong enjoys under this Chinese policy," said the Foreign Minister. "We have always argued that those who demonstrate in Hong Kong can express their opinions on the street."
Maas also referred to Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent visit to China. "If the Chancellor is in Beijing, she will also meet with human rights lawyers, activists, and if I am in Beijing, I will," said the Foreign Minister. "And when I'm in Berlin, I do the same and it will not change in the future."
China had sharply disapproved of the meeting with Wong, summoned the German ambassador to the Foreign Ministry and announced consequences for bilateral relations. Wong is an organizer of violent protests, criticized Chinese ambassador to Germany, Wu Ken, the previous day.
Since June 9, there have been protests in the financial metropolis, often resulting in clashes between a small section of the protesters and the police. The protest movement fears increasing influence of the Chinese government on Hong Kong. The demonstrators also demand an independent investigation of police violence during the protests. There was also violence from the ranks of the protest movement.