Germany urges withdrawal of Hong Kong security law, seeks access to Uygurs in Xinjiang

Germany urges withdrawal of Hong Kong security law, seeks access to Uygurs in Xinjiang

  • German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also criticises Wang Yi’s ‘threats’ against the Czech senate president’s trip to Taiwan
  • Four of the five European countries Wang visited raised concerns publicly with him over Hong Kong

Germany urged China to withdraw the national security law imposed on Hong Kong and grant access for international observers to visit Xinjiang’s Uygurs on Tuesday, marking an adversarial end to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s European tour.At a press conference after bilateral talks, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also criticised Wang’s “threats” against the Czech senate president’s trip to Taiwan, a row that overshadowed Beijing’s intended focus on cooperation with the European Union’s biggest economy.Germany, which currently holds the EU presidency, plans to organise a special summit with China’s president Xi Jinping later this month. Some other EU leaders are also expected to attend, in a bid to pile pressure on Xi to accept wider market access for EU companies as part of an EU-China investment deal still under negotiation.

Four of the five European countries Wang visited raised concerns publicly with him over Hong Kong, leaving the Chinese official on the defensive and repeating the nation’s need to curb Hong Kong independence movements.

Maas, however, dismissed Wang’s reassurance that Hong Kong’s freedoms were protected under the new law.

“You know that our concerns about the effects of the security law have not been allayed,” Maas said. “We want the ‘one country, two systems’ principle to be applied as fully as possible.

”Maas also called for Legislative Council elections to take place in Hong Kong “quickly and unhindered”. The elections, which were planned in September, were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Democratic opposition groups see the postponement as illegitimate.

The security law prompted the US to impose sanctions on Chinese officials and countries including Canada, Australia, Britain and Germany have suspended extradition agreements with Hong Kong.