On the heels of an overwhelming vote in favor of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, China turned its umbrage against Germany for expressing support for the Hong Kong protesters.

China’s ambassador to Germany, Wu Ken, called a September meeting in Berlin between German lawmakers and Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong “a direct provocation” of Beijing. He said, “It is a shame that Germany allowed a Hong Kong separatist to visit and meet with political leaders, including the foreign minister himself.”

Wu’s comments came Monday during a speech at the La Redoute Club in Bonn, Germany, where he added that the encounter “has severely disrupted” the European country’s relations with China.

Germany joins several other countries as targets of China’s wrath over the wide-spread unrest in Hong Kong. President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Wednesday and that is sure to anger Beijing already in a trade war with its rival superpower. Britain and other European countries and Australia have all been accused of “meddling” in China’s internal affairs.

Wu’s strongest point during Monday’s speech was to accuse German politicians of applying a double standard. He asked, “Why don’t they criticize the French police, who have used equal if not more brutal tactics during the Yellow Vest movement?”

The Yellow Vest movement of 2018 was a protest that began in Paris over high taxes, stagnant wages and a wage gap where French police fired tear gas at protesters who wore yellow reflective vests.

Joshua Wong has been barred from standing in upcoming local elections in Hong Kong, a decision Beijing said it approved of
Joshua Wong has been barred from standing in upcoming local elections in Hong Kong, a decision Beijing said it approved of AFP / Philip FONG

Wong, the 22-year-old Hong Kong activist, also addressed the German Parliament at Berlin’s invitation. He compared the situation in Hong Kong to Berlin during the “cold war” when it was divided between the Communist USSR and free Germany. The Berlin Wall was torn down four years after then-President Ronald Reagan demanded to the Soviet leader, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

Speaking at Humboldt University, Wong remarked that “if we are in a new cold war, Hong Kong is the new Berlin”.

This marks the 2second time since September that Ambassador Wu has criticized Germany over Hong Kong and Wong. The best answer as to why comes from Mareike Ohlberg, an analyst with the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies who said, “The most likely answer is that he was asked or felt the need to do so following the defeat of the pro-establishment camp in the Hong Kong District Council elections. As the central government tries to regain control of the situation, it wants to limit other countries from engaging with Hong Kong activists.”

A Hong Kong court has now banned Wong from traveling to London after his visit to Germany. He faces charges of inciting anti-government protesters to besiege the Hong Kong police headquarters and he is considered a potential absconder, the court said.