China summons German envoy over Hong Kong activist meeting
China’s ambassador to Berlin says Beijing has summoned the German envoy to protest a meeting between Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, warning that the encounter could negatively affect bilateral relations.
According to Press TV, Wong arrived in Berlin on Monday night. He was received by the German diplomat amid ongoing protests in the semi-autonomous region, which Beijing blames on foreign forces.
Ambassador Wu Ken told reporters on Wednesday, “What happened now, I unfortunately have to say, will have negative consequences on bilateral relations and the Chinese side has to react.”
“After his arrival we took note that unfortunately certain politicians - and I will say very openly that it is Foreign Minister Maas himself - as well as some members of parliament met with Joshua Wong,” the Chinese ambassador said.
“We don’t know what goal these politicians have. Are they actually seriously concerned about Hong Kong’s freedom, democracy and rule of law or they want to add fuel to the fire and thereby make political capital out of it?”
The Chinese envoy stressed that Beijing had sufficient evidence that foreign forces have intervened in Hong Kong demonstrations.
China has said foreign countries, mainly the United States and Britain, have been provoking the protesters by issuing statements of support. Beijing has asked the two countries to stop meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.
“China’s sovereignty and security must be respected. I therefore advise politicians against covering up violent crimes and meddling with Hong Kong’s and China’s internal affairs,” Wu Ken said on Wednesday.
Unrest began in Hong Kong in June, when people started taking to the streets to protest a proposed bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited and stand trial abroad.
The bill was suspended later that month in the wake of the unrest. The protesters have, however, rejected the suspension, calling for a full withdrawal of the measure. The demonstrations have also expanded into a broader backlash against the government and calls for the city’s pro-China leader to step down.
Earlier this month, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam announced that the unpopular extradition bill would be withdrawn at the next session of the city’s Legislative Council, scheduled for next month. Lam expressed hope that the annulment of the bill would end the unrest.