China has summoned Germany's Ambassador in Beijing to its foreign ministry, saying it has "sufficient proof" that foreign forces intervened in Hong Kong, Reuters reports.
This comes just after German foreign minister Heiko Maas held a controversial meeting and photo op with pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong in Berlin on Monday. Wong has emerged as among the most visible virulently anti-Beijing representatives of popular protests and unrest which have gripped Hong Kong streets for months over the anti-extradition bill.
Beijing promptly slammed the meeting as "disrespectful," also given Wong was hosted in German parliament as part of the meeting arranged by Bild newspaper to showcase "human rights activists around the world".
"It is extremely wrong for German media and politicians to attempt to tap into the anti-China separatist wave," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in response to Wong's high profile meeting. "It is disrespectful of China's sovereignty and an interference in China's internal affairs."
“There are certain German media and politicians who seek attention and stage political shows by taking advantage of anti-Chinese separatists,” China's foreign ministry continued. The ministry also noted Chancellor Angela Merkel had long been on record as supporting Hong Kong's 'one country, two systems' status.
In Berlin I spoke to Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas on protests situation and our cause to free election and democracy in HK. Anticipating further discussion with members of German Bundestag in coming days. pic.twitter.com/y8VCUZrE6s— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 (@joshuawongcf) September 10, 2019
It's unclear at this point the nature of Beijing's "proof" of German intervention in Hong Kong's affairs. If substantial state media will likely publish it; however, the German ambassador's being summoned could be a mere continuation of Chinese anger over Wong's trip to Berlin.
Wong had also previously come under scrutiny in Chinese state media for meeting with a US diplomatic official based out of the American consulate in Hong Kong. The woman he met with was identified as Julie Eadeh, chief of the US consulate in Hong Kong's political unit - which Chinese media figures had denounced as a "subversion expert".
Joshua Wong Chi-fung, secretary-general of the #Demosisto party, said there was "nothing sinister" behind his meeting with Julie Eadeh, a political unit chief of the US consulate general in Hong Kong. #Hongkongprotest pic.twitter.com/fLHXA4fTZ3— tim anderson (@timand2037) August 8, 2019
The US official's secret meeting with key anti-Beijing protest leaders at a downtown HK hotel was only revealed by photographs showing the group talking in the lobby. Chinese officials cited the photograph as proof of a US "hidden hand" fueling the summer of tense anti-Beijing protests.
Interestingly, Wong was also photographed at the Bild newspaper event in Germany this week standing beside the head of the 'White Helmets' group in Syria, Raed Al Saleh.
A storm of criticism was unleashed on social media and in some international reports, specifically Russian media, given it is well documented that the White Helmets have received millions in funding by the US and UK governments.
Beijing and other as critics of Joshua Wong have alleged he's being used as a foreign agent to do the West's bidding in Hong Kong.