BEIJING: China expressed anger on Tuesday (Sep 10) after German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, saying that no foreign country had a right to interfere in China’s internal affairs.
Wong met Maas on Monday in Berlin at an event celebrating human rights activists around the world.
READ: Carrie Lam regrets foreign interference in Hong Kong’s affairs, says more violence will not solve social issues
READ: Hong Kong warns against foreign interference after protesters march to US consulate
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China was “extremely dissatisfied and resolutely opposed” to Germany allowing Wong to visit the country and meet with Maas.
“China has already lodged stern representations with the German side,” Hua told a daily news briefing.
No foreign government, organisation or individual has a right to interfere in the internal affairs of Hong Kong, she added.
“Any plots to rely on foreigners to build oneself up or acts or words to split the country are doomed to failure.”
The timing of the meeting is especially awkward as German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Beijing last week.
Hua said that during Merkel’s trip last week, the German leader clearly said that she opposes violence and supports “one country, two systems”.
The chancellor had faced criticism from Germany for not engaging more directly with the Hong Kong protesters, whose cause is popular in Germany, though she did call for a peaceful solution to the Hong Kong unrest.
Wong flew to Germany after he was released from a brief spell in custody on Sunday following a mistake in his bail conditions.
The 22-year-old was detained late last month by police as the semi-autonomous city reels from more than three months of protests.
He was accused of “inciting others to take part in unauthorised assembly” among other charges and later released on bail.
READ: My town is the new Cold War’s Berlin – Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong
Hong Kong has been gripped by weeks of protests, initially against a now-shelved extradition Bill and now focused more on securing greater freedoms for Hong Kong.
On Monday, Wong told an audience in Berlin that his city was now a bulwark between the free world and the “dictatorship of China” – a role that he likened to that of the German capital during the Cold War.
At the event, which was hosted by German newspaper BILD, Wong pledged that protests would not be lulled into complacency by the decision of the city’s government to drop a contested new extradition law.
Follow us on Telegram for the latest on Hong Kong: https://t.me/cnalatest