Germany slow to condemn China’s Hong Kong security law | DW News

published on July 13, 2020

And in position the uk's boris johnson offered permanent residency visas to up to 3 million hong kong citizens australian prime minister scott morrison suspended an extradition agreement with hong kong and planned to extend visas for the

Territory's residents germany's government on the other hand is treading softly its response to hong kong's new security law is being criticized from different sides of the political spectrum

While expressing concern for china's influence in hong kong chancellor angela merkel repeatedly called for an open dialogue with china and reinforced the country's role as an important partner

But even members of mecca's government coalition said her stance towards china needs to change we need to consider china for what it actually is it's a trade partner it's an economic

And technological competitor but it is above all also a systemic competitor that has a completely different model of governance for the state and for society and miracle must incorporate these

Important factors into her china policies the spd along with the opposition greens and free democrats is also calling for the government to make it easier for hong kong citizens to

Resettle in germany in 2018 two hong kong activists were granted asylum the two young men ray wong and alan lee were facing charges of rioting at home it was the first apparent case of

Germany granting protection to hong kong pro-democracy campaigners the free democratic party is pushing for the government to make it easier for hong kongers to find refuge in germany we have called upon the federal

Government to examine to what extent we can facilitate entry and possibly also residence permits and even asylum merkel said no specific measures are planned to facilitate the relocation of

Hong kongers to germany but with the new security law in place a growing number of people may want to leave hong kong upping the pressure for the german government to take action

For more on this let's cross over to dws political correspondent kate brady kate why is germany so reluctant to actually really confront china well at the end of the day this really comes down to trade and economics

The so china is indeed germany's biggest trade partner and we've seen especially over the last 15 years that angela merkel's been in office those economic ties growing closer and closer and for a long

Time germany strategy like many other uh western democracies as well was this idea of handle vandal does handle here in germany at least which is the idea of trade uh

Change through trade so this idea that through improving economic ties and bringing economic ties closer together that that germany would be able to help coaxed uh

China's authoritarian politics into a more free open democratic uh chinese state and simply that isn't the case right now and we're seeing increasing calls here in germany as we

Saw there in the report as well to simply change that strategy and take a tougher stance towards beijing the german president frankfurt steinmeister has also addressed this issue

In an interview on public television yesterday let's have a quick listen what is important now is that we make clear to china this is no momentary state of indignation

If things stay as they are it will have a lasting negative effect on ties with european western states china has no interest in that so i still hope that there's a way to reverse china's thinking

Well that's the tricky part isn't it how does one reverse china's way of thinking well that certainly is the big question on the plates of those eu foreign ministers today and tycho master german foreign minister

Said that he wants to see some quick progress on a coordinated response from the eu hashed out even just in that meeting today so there are several options on the table and in effort to perhaps

Reverse that way of thinking one popular option seems to be economic sanctions of course which comes with the risk of retaliatory measures from beijing as well um another option for the eu could be

To possibly take this issue even to the international uh court of justice in the hague or at the same time we could also see the eu perhaps adopting a so-called magnitsky

Loss which would then enable the eu to um actually target uh or rather implement targeted travel bans and and asset freezes on individuals who are involved in in human rights

Abuses so we'll have to wait and see until uh that meetings over to see exactly what progress uh those foreign ministers managed to make today well the eu's reaction uh

Of course is one thing but are we likely to see a real change in the german position to this issue at this point i think we certainly are but germany is also very aware that it

Can't change its position on its own which is why uh the the the relations between eu and china is such an important issue while germany currently

Holds uh the presidency of the european council so this is going to be a huge issue over the next six months that germany really wants to tackle

While it holds on to that presidency our political correspondent kate brady there thank you

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