China furious as HK's Joshua Wong meets German foreign minister
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 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
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.
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.