Heiko Maas has received sharp criticism from China for his meeting with 22-year-old Joshua Wong, one of the leaders of the Hong Kong Democracy Movement. The meeting took place in Berlin in connection with Chancellor Merkel's recent visit to China.
The German Beijing ambassador was called to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the meeting and claimed that it would have "negative consequences" for relations between the countries.Germany: China scares exilkines
According to the German government, China is trying to scare people who are demonstrating in Germany to support the demands of democracy in Hongkng. The Green Party demands that the German government protect exile Chinese who are politically persecuted.
China has increased its efforts to systematically influence Germany and other countries by increasing pressure on universities, the media and even politics. This is claimed in a study from the China Institute of Merics in Berlin. Also, a study from the Foreign Policy Institute points to the same development when it comes to Chinese influence attempts against Sweden.Political solution
Chancellor Merkel pointed out to his hosts during the visit that the Hong Kongborn's freedoms and rights must be guaranteed. She advocated a political solution through dialogue, and that violence at all costs must be avoided. At the same time, the German business delegation signed several major trade agreements.
China is Germany's most important export market. The downturn in the Chinese economy, trade conflict with the United States and protests in Hong Kong negatively affect Germany and the EU.
Merkel has now promised an EU-China summit during the upcoming German Presidency of the Union next year.