Merkel: Germany Must Engage in Human Rights Dialogue With China

September 11, 2019 Updated: September 11, 2019

BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it’s important for her country to engage in dialogue with China, including on issues such as human rights.

Speaking to lawmakers during parliament’s annual budget debate on Sept. 11, Merkel said China has a “growing responsibility for the global multilateral order.”

Merkel said that during her visit to China last week she noted the importance of respecting human rights, adding: “that’s true also with a view toward Hong Kong.”

Beijing rebuked Germany on Tuesday for allowing prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong to visit Berlin, where he met at a private function with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and is due to hold a news conference later on Wednesday.

Merkel stressed that Germany believes in the principle of “one country, two systems” for China and Hong Kong.

On Sept. 6, Merkel met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, where the German leader faced the challenge of balancing human rights concerns and economic discussions with one of Germany’s largest trading partners.

She said that a solution to Hong Kong’s political crisis can only be achieved through dialogue and that violence should be avoided.

 

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