In Brief: Foreign Minister Heiko Maas defends actions in Germany criticized by Chinese officials

Maas and other members of Germany’s parliament met with Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong at the German Parliament on Monday night, a move which angered China.

Photo by Thierry Ehrmann on Flikr, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Following criticism from China, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas defended his meeting with democracy activist Joshua Wong.

“When the chancellor is in Beijing, she meets with human rights lawyers and activists,” Maas said on Thursday. “If I’m in Beijing, I’ll do the same, as well as when I’m in Berlin. That won’t change in the future.”

China’s Ambassador to Germany Wu Ken, called the meeting with Maas and other members of parliament “regrettable,” and said it “will have negative consequences on bilateral relations”.

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The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) wants to send its own ship to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. The chairman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, said that it wants to buy a ship together with several other organizations.

Bedford-Strohm says the act is not just symbolic, but that it is about taking exemplary action and the concrete act of saving people’s lives, adding that they are gathering funds to purchase an appropriate ship.

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