German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Friday September 6th, said the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong "must be guaranteed", her spokesperson Steffen Seibert said.
Ahead of her three-day visit to China this week, protestors in the semi-autonomous city appealed to Merkel to support them during her meetings with Chinese leaders, according to AFP.
Seibert quoted Merkel as saying on Friday, "The rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong must be guaranteed. Solutions can only be found in dialogue; do everything possible to prevent violence.”
Merkel arrived in China on Thursday with a large business delegation.
A number of members of the Beijing foreign press corps, including AFP, were unable to get accreditations for the event, making press access to her visit tight. Chinese officials cited a lack of space due to a large contingent of journalists accompanying Merkel.
In an open letter published by top-selling Bild daily on Wednesday, prominent movement leader Joshua Wong and others recalled that Merkel grew up in the communist police state of East Germany.
"You have first-hand experience of the terrors of a dictatorial government," the letter read.