About Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong visit in Germany and the US

 China fury as Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong meets German foreign minister

10 September - AFP


Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong has met Germany’s foreign minister as he carries abroad his call to support the growing pro-democracy movement in the former British colony, a meeting slammed on Tuesday 10 by China as “disrespectful”.

Posting a photo of himself and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on his Twitter account, the 22-year-old said they spoke on the “protest situation and our cause to free election and democracy in HK”.

Beijing reacted angrily at their meeting during an event organised by Bild daily, saying “it is extremely wrong for German media and politicians to attempt to tap into the anti-China separatist wave”.
“It is disrespectful of China’s sovereignty and an interference in China’s internal affairs,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
“I want to stress once again that Hong Kong 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.

Wong, a prominent face in Hong Kong’s growing pro-democracy protests, planned to hold talks with other German politicians during his visit to Berlin.
But there are no plans for Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet him, said her spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday 9.

The activist’s visit came on the heels of Merkel’s trip to China, where she stressed Friday that the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong “must be guaranteed”, after meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.
Ahead of her three-day visit to China, demonstrators in the semi-autonomous city appealed to the German chancellor to support them in her meetings with China’s leadership.
Wong himself had written an open letter to Merkel, seeking her backing.

‘Hong Kong the new Berlin’

Germany has emerged as a country of refuge for a number of Chinese dissidents in recent years, including Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese Nobel dissident Liu Xiaobo.
In May, two former Hong Kong independence activists were granted refugee status in Germany in what is one of the first cases of dissenters from the enclave receiving such protection.

Wong had arrived in Berlin late Monday 9 after he was briefly detained in Hong Kong just before his departure to Germany following an error in his bail conditions from a previous detention.
He was among several prominent democracy advocates held late last month in a roundup by police as the city reels from more than three months of unprecedented pro-democracy protests.

Bild reported that Wong turned up late at the event it organised, but was still able to meet Maas at the gathering.
In a brief speech at the event, Wong vowed to “protest until the day that we have free elections”.
“If we are now in a new Cold War, Hong Kong is the new Berlin,” he said, referring to the post-war split between communist East Berlin and the democratic West.
“‘Stand with Hong Kong’ is much more than just a mere slogan, we urge the free world to stand together with us in resisting the autocratic Chinese regime,” he added.

Wong was due to hold a public discussion on Wednesday 11 evening at Humboldt University in Berlin and later travel to the United States.

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


 China blasts Germany after foreign minister meets Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong at human rights event


10 Sep, by Catherine Wong (SCMP)

Beijing accuses Heiko Maas of ‘extremely erroneous action’ after he and Wong are introduced at newspaper’s event in Berlin
Wong says Hong Kong is comparable to East Berlin during the cold war.

China has protested to Germany after the German foreign minister met Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung at an event [1] in Berlin.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had lodged “stern representations” with Germany after Wong and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas were introduced while both attending an event hosted by a newspaper at the German parliament on Monday.
On Tuesday 10, Hua said Beijing was “strongly dissatisfied” over Maas meeting Wong, the 22-year-old secretary general of pro-democracy Hong Kong political party Demosisto.

Wong had travelled to Berlin for the event, hosted by the German newspaper Bild to celebrate human rights activists around the world.

“There are certain German media and politicians who seek attention and stage political shows by taking advantage of anti-Chinese separatists,” Hua said. “This is extremely erroneous action which has shown disrespect of China’s sovereignty and interference in China’s internal affairs.
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel has clearly stated her support for ‘one country, two systems’ and her opposition to violence during her visit to China last week. We couldn’t help but wonder, what is the intention of the German side to allow Joshua Wong to visit Germany and to meet Foreign Minister Maas at this point in time?”

One country, two systems is the principle under which Hong Kong was returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997 but retained a high degree of autonomy.
Hua said the incident would send the wrong signal to “radical separatist forces” in Hong Kong and called for Maas not to engage in actions that would hurt China-Germany relations.
On Monday 9, Wong compared the anti-government protests in Hong Kong to the situation in East Berlin during the cold war.

“If we are in a new cold war, Hong Kong is the new Berlin,” he said at a reception space close to the Berlin Wall at the Reichstag building, which formerly occupied the no-man’s land between communist East Berlin and the city’s capitalist western half.

Ongoing mass protests in Hong Kong were triggered in early June by opposition to a now-abandoned extradition bill [3] that would have allowed the transfer of criminal suspects to mainland China.

Wong’s arrival in Berlin came after Merkel met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing last week, when the situation in Hong Kong was discussed.
Li said [4] the Chinese people had the capacity to manage their own affairs – remarks seen as a message to foreign governments not to interfere – and Merkel called for the crisis to be resolved through peaceful dialogue and the “utmost” efforts to avoid violence.

Despite the announcement last week by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor that the bill would be formally withdrawn, Wong said protesters would not be lulled into complacency.
“We urge the free world to stand together with us in resisting the Chinese autocratic regime,” he said on Monday 9, describing Chinese President Xi Jinping as “not a president but an emperor”.

Wong had been arrested [5] at Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday morning for breaching bail conditions imposed after he was charged over a protest on June 21.
But a court heard on Monday 9 that the arrest had been prompted by inaccurate documentation [6] of Wong’s bail terms, despite them having been read out correctly at the bail hearing.
A magistrate had previously agreed to temporarily lift a travel ban imposed on Wong so that he could visit Germany and the United States on prearranged trips this month.

[1] https://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/article/3026395/german-minister-welcomes-release-hong-kong-activist-joshua-wong
[2] https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3024996/hong-kong-activist-joshua-wong-arrested-according-demosisto
[3] https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3025670/hong-kong-leader-carrie-lam-set-withdraw-extradition-bill
[4] https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3026016/chinesepremier-li-keqiang-supports-hong-kong-government-end
[5] https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3026261/pro-democracy-activist-joshua-wong-arrested-hong-kong
[6] https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3026292/hong-kong-democracy-activist-joshua-wong-cleared-travel

  Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong seeks support from Donald Trump and US congress

15 September 2019 - by Peter Hutchinson (AFP)

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong urged US President Donald Trump on Friday 13 to include a “human rights clause” in any trade agreement with China, and sought Washington’s backing for the city’s democracy movement.

The 22-year-old called on American politicians to pass a bill expressing support for the pro-democracy campaign during a speaking engagement in New York, a few hours after arriving in the United States.
“It’s significant to add a human rights clause in the trade negotiations and put Hong Kong protests under the agenda of the trade negotiations,” Wong told AFP afterwards.

The world’s two biggest economies have been locked in a bitter trade war for the past year, resulting in tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade.
Trade talks between Beijing and Washington are scheduled for October.

Wong said it was crucial Hong Kong was factored into the negotiations, saying it faced the threat of emergency laws “similar to martial law” and feared that China would send troops to the semi-autonomous region.
“If China has no intention to safeguard Hong Kong’s economic freedom and open business it will also affect and damage the world economy,” he said.

Wong arrived in the US after visiting Germany as he seeks global support for Hong Kong’s widening pro-democracy protests that have crippled parts of the Asian financial hub in recent months, including its airport.
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.

‘Year of discontent’

Beijing summoned the German ambassador this week after Wong, one of the most prominent faces in the city’s leaderless pro-democracy demonstrations, met Germany’s foreign minister.
Wong is due to attend a Tuesday 17 congressional hearing in Washington on the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.
He will meet Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a vocal critic of China, who introduced the bill in June, but it’s not clear if he will meet anyone from Trump’s administration yet.

Wong urged Congress to pass the legislation, which could undermine Hong Kong’s special US trade privileges by mandating regular checks on whether authorities were respecting the Basic Law that underpins the city’s semi-autonomous status. Hong Kong protesters have been increasingly calling for help from the US in recent weeks. On Sunday 15, thousands of demonstrators, some waving American flags, marched outside the US consulate in Hong Kong.
China has regularly accused “external forces,” notably the United States, of being behind the unrest in Hong Kong, an accusation foreign countries deny.

Wong told around 200 students at New York’s Columbia University the purpose of his US visit was to put Hong Kong “under the global spotlight.”
“The summer of discontent is becoming the year of discontent,” he said, indicating that activists would not back down until they are guaranteed free and fair elections — a promise enshrined in the [1984] handover agreement between Britain and China.