Merkel accuses China of 'poor and cruel treatment' of minorities

German chancellor expresses deep concern over developments in Hong Kong

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday (Sept. 30) accused Beijing of "poor and cruel treatment" of minorities and expressed deep concern over the situation in Hong Kong.

Speaking on the eve of the Euro Summit, Merkel vowed to address human rights issues and the crackdown on Hong Kong activists in any conversations with Chinese officials. She said the two countries will discuss their diverging views and that Germany will bring up its concerns about Hong Kong's national security law and China's continual undermining of the "one country, two systems" principle in the city.

Merkel added that the ill-treatment of minorities will also feature in future Germany-China dialogues. Although she did not name the minorities she was referring to, human rights activists accuse the Chinese government of committing a range of abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, according to CNA.

Despite targeting Beijing's alleged human rights violations, the German leader praised the communist regime for its stated commitment to slowing climate change. She called Chinese Secretary-General Xi Jinping's (習近平) goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 very "ambitious" and said it would spur European nations into following suit.

Merkel also said she hopes to see progress in talks with China on market access and reciprocity by the end of the year. She said not much headway has been made toward an investment agreement so far but that Germany is keen for a breakthrough before its rotating presidency of the Council of the EU comes to a close, reported the South China Morning Post.

Updated : 2020-12-01 02:11 GMT+08:00