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The ambassador in Beijing called by the Chinese authorities, his counterpart in Berlin said: “There will be negative consequences for bilateral relations”.

BERLIN – In the difficult tightrope walk between defending human rights and the need to protect the gold business they have been doing for decades in China, the Germans have gone too far. At least, from the point of view of Beijing. A handshake in Berlin between Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas sparked the wrath of the Chinese. The ambassador to Beijing, Clemens von Goetze, was summoned yesterday by the Chinese authorities and his Chinese counterpart in Berlin, Wu Ken, said in no uncertain terms that the Maas-Wong meeting will have “negative consequences for bilateral relations”. The diplomat called Hong Kong activists “criminals” and “almost terrorists”.

Wong, who hoped to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, reacted with a shrug to Chinese threats. Before leaving for Berlin, where he was expected for a tabloid party “Bild”, he had been arrested for hours at Hong Kong airport. At the meeting with yesterday’s journalists, the most sold newspaper in Germany was prevented from entering. The diplomatic incident arrives a few days after Merkel’s twelfth mission in China with the big industry from which Berlin has returned with a rich booty: agreements have been signed between the insurance group Allianz and Bank of China, between Siemens and an electricity company for the exploitation of green energies and the Deutsche Post has collected an order for an electric vehicle.

In Beijing the chancellor openly defended the Hong Kong uprising, inviting Beijing to respect the rights of its citizens, arousing the wrath of Chinese political leaders. Even now, the Foreign Ministry assures that “nothing has changed” after the Wong case. But as it is known, repression and business in China walk hand in hand.

In the flames of Hong Kong

On the fifth anniversary of the liberticidal law that triggered the umbrella uprising, activists challenged the ban on demonstrating “Going out on the street is the only thing to do”. The demonstrators set fire to the barricades, the police launched charges.

HONG KONG. They piled up a huge barricade with the traffic dividers and set it on fire using the umbrella canvas. The flames grow slowly, the boys accompany them by beating bars and sticks at their own pace. They rejoice when the bonfire blazes and black smoke rises between the skyscrapers of Central, like in the chimney of a chimney. Riot police are coming again, they know, dozens of agents behind two trucks with hydrants. The clashes have been going on for weeks.

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