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German Foreign Minister Meeting with Hong Kong Activist Joshua Wong 'Disrespectful', Says China

China that has regularly accused "external forces", notably the United States, of being behind the unrest in Hong Kong said the meeting was disrespectful of China's sovereignty and an interference in internal affairs.

AFP

Updated:September 10, 2019, 4:43 PM IST
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German Foreign Minister Meeting with Hong Kong Activist Joshua Wong 'Disrespectful', Says China
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attend an event in Berlin, Germany,on Tuesday. (Reuters)
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Beijing: Beijing on Tuesday slammed the meeting between Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin, saying it was "disrespectful" of China's sovereignty.

Posting a photo of himself and Maas on his Twitter account, the 22-year-old said they spoke on the "protests situation and our cause to free election and democracy in HK". The duo met on Monday at an event organised by the German newspaper Bild daily.

The activist said he planned to hold talks with other German politicians during his visit to Berlin. "It is extremely wrong for German media and politicians to attempt to tap into the anti-China separatist wave," said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a regular press briefing.

"It is disrespectful of China's sovereignty and an interference in China's internal affairs." China has regularly accused "external forces", notably the United States, of being behind the unrest in Hong Kong.

Millions have taken to Hong Kong's streets over the last 14 weeks in the biggest challenge to China's rule since the city's handover from Britain in 1997. What started as a pushback against a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China snowballed into wider calls for democracy and police accountability after the city's leaders and Beijing refused concessions.

"I want to stress once again that Hong Kong's affairs are purely China's internal affairs. No foreign government, organisation or individual has the right to intervene," Hua said, adding that Beijing "strongly disapproves" of the meeting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week said she had discussed tensions in the former British colony and civil rights there during her visit to Beijing.

Wong launched his career as an activist when he was just 12 years old and later became the poster child of the huge pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement" protests of 2014 that failed to win any concessions from Beijing. He has previously been jailed for involvement in those protests.

He is due to hold a public discussion on Wednesday evening at Humboldt University in Berlin and later travel to the United States.

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