DThe Chancellor had made a finely crafted diplomatic balancing act on her trip to China. But only three days after her return came the deep fall. Three days were enough to make the relationship between Berlin and Beijing as icy as never before. The People's Republic barely tries to politely rewrite what it thinks of the Federal Government's recent behavior. It attacks Germany as publicly as it is imaginable for diplomats.
The scandal from the Chinese point of view: The Federal Government has allowed Joshua Wong, a main organizer of the protests in Honkkong, to enter – and then met him in person by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD).
China's ambassador Wu Ken, who, like most colleagues in the capital, usually works silently behind the political scenes, therefore took center stage on Wednesday. He invited journalists and television crews to the Chinese embassy, which otherwise stands like a gray defensive fortress on the Spree, repellent and closed.
Wu, who was a diplomat in Germany during the GDR, starts his speech in fluent German and reads a statement on the podium of the large, octagonal conference hall of the embassy: China has appealed to the German government several times in advance To prevent Joshua Wong from entering the country. The Federal Republic had nevertheless allowed the "instigator of violence" into the country.
The real scandal from a Chinese point of view, however, occurred on Monday evening, when Wong met with Foreign Minister Maas at an event in the Dachgarten restaurant of the Bundestag.
China's ambassador now called this meeting an "incident" that would "very badly affect bilateral relations." The German ambassador in Beijing had been summoned. The Chinese government has expressed its "deep dissatisfaction".
The People's Republic rated the meeting of Maas and Wong as a violation of their sovereignty. Hong Kong is an internal affair, China will respond. Then the ambassador warns of "negative consequences" for Germany without further elaboration.
China's point of view is this: the demonstrators are not about democracy. They had achieved their objectives following the withdrawal of the extradition agreement, in which the protests had once been kindled. But that's still not enough for them. Now they simply wanted the secession of Hong Kong, which is why the demonstrators are "separatists," "almost terrorists," as the ambassador explains.
To emphasize the Chinese perspective, Wu then lets the lectern from the stage. Now the view is clear, on the big screen behind him, where a video appears. It is a five-minute compilation of scenes in which protesters in Hong Kong riot and become violent against police officers. The message: The people of Hong Kong want only peace and economic development.
Only a few "brutal felons", according to the ambassador, wanted "to hide their true face and malice under the pretext of democracy". The obvious goal: to create two groups. On the one hand, the Hong Kong people, who by the hundreds of thousands peacefully took to the streets against the extradition law. On the other side, the allegedly brutal chaotic, who counteracted the will of the majority with their protests.
If the coverage in the Western media was one-sided, the video in the Chinese Embassy was definitely not balanced. No trace of the peaceful protests in the city, not even a picture of violent policemen. Only violence on the part of demonstrators, which actually existed, which was also addressed in Western media.
For China, the question arises: "Who hides behind the chaos in Hong Kong?" The ambassador answers the question itself: foreign states are responsible. "We have enough evidence that foreign powers have helped spread the idea of separatism in Hong Kong," says Wu.
Joshua Wong is in regular contact with "a particular foreign power and advises this country on how to continue the demonstrations." Wu seems to be referring to the US at this point.
It remains unclear what actions the Chinese government wants to follow Wu's words. A retaliatory measure was already in the run-up to the press conference. Against the "Bild" newspaper. She organized the event where Wong met with Maas.
The embassy denied "Bild" newspaper access to the press conference on the grounds that there were not enough seats available. "There are numerous German media," said the Chinese ambassador later during the press conference on this issue addressed. "We can not invite everyone." In the 30 meters by 30 meters large hall meanwhile have 48 chairs. A good third of them are empty.
Would not there be a reporter for the "Bild" newspaper? "No," says the ambassador. "The empty chairs are for those colleagues who are just standing there back there." At the back of the room are a handful of cameramen scattered here and there by a journalist or embassy official. It would certainly fit 50 reporters in the hall. Carefully estimated.
(tagToTranslate) Geiger-Klaus (t) China (People's Republic) (t) Hong Kong (t) understanding of democracy (t) Germany (t) Ambassador (t) ARCHIVES (t) Bundestag (t) Heiko Maas (t) Federal Government (t) Bild-Zeitung (t) Germany (t) China Ambassador (t) RESALES (t) Travel (t) Hong Kong (t) Joshua Wong (t) Beijing