China tells Germany to butt out: no inquiry into HK police protest tactics

07-Dec-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

An independent investigation into alleged police violence in Hong Kong was “not possible”, China’s foreign ministry has told two German politicians in Beijing, ahead of their visit to the troubled city on Friday.

Katrin Goering-Eckardt, leader of the Greens in Germany’s parliament, did not elaborate on the reasons given by a Chinese vice-minister of foreign affairs, but said the two had disagreed over how to address police violence, and the next steps to address the crisis in the city.

Goering-Eckardt and fellow Green Party Bundestag member Oliver Krischer met Chinese officials in Beijing on Wednesday before travelling to Shenzhen to speak at a business forum hosted by the German Chamber of Commerce.

“What happens in Hong Kong draws our attention a lot in Germany, especially as a party that supports civil rights,” Goering-Eckardt said.

“I believe that, after all the conversations I had, in Germany and here, one very good solution to bring preliminary peace to the situation would be an independent investigation into police violence that happened there.

“About that, I had a conversation yesterday here, with the vice-foreign minister, who gave a long explanation why that is not possible,” she said, without providing details of the minister’s explanation.

“I really don’t think it’s a politically sensible decision to approve of the police going beyond the law and being violent because that’s what they are there for.”

Goering-Eckardt also said it would be a good idea for the German foreign minister to “get active” and address issues in German-China relations.

“It’s good that there is international attention about Hong Kong because it proves how free Hong Kong is, but in order to bring peace to the situation, it needs an initial move in order to start an independent investigation into police violence.”

The disagreement follows a series of rows between China and Germany over Hong Kong and other sensitive issues like the mass detention of Uygur minorities in Xinjiang.

On a visit to Beijing in July, politicians from Germany’s Free Democratic Party were told by a senior Chinese official that public sympathy in Germany and the granting of asylum to Hong Kong dissidents had “incited” the storming of Hong Kong’s legislative council. Multiple meetings planned by the group were also summarily cancelled.

In August, another Green Party member, Margarete Bause, was denied entry to China following her repeated criticism of the treatment of Uygur Muslims. And in September, Germany’s ambassador to Beijing was summoned over a meeting between German foreign minister Heiko Maas and Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, which China called “disrespectful”.


Category: Hong Kong

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