Merkel is under pressure to cut Germany's ties with China as the Hong Kong crisis triggers a European backlash against Beijing
- Germany's Chancellor Angela
Merkelhas come under heavy criticism from her own party and opposition politicians who say she is not taking a tough enough line on China.
- It comes amid
internationalcondemnation of China's new security law in Hong Kong, which critics say undermines the island's independence, and which has already seen police arrest hundreds of pro-democracy protesters.
- Powers including the US and the UK have all vocally condemned the new legislation, with the UK going as far as to offer citizenship to up to 3 million Hong Kong residents.
- Merkel, however, has been reluctant to condemn the move and insisted on the need to 'seek dialogue' with China on the basis of 'mutual trust.'
- It came as FBI director Christopher Wray said that China represented 'the greatest long-term threat' to US security and accused of secretive plots designed to steal state secrets.
The German Chancellor is under growing pressure to cut
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"Merkel's China policy is behind the times," said Nils Schmid, foreign policy spokesperson for the Social Democrats, the junior partner in Merkel's coalition government, according to the Financial Times report."She still sticks to this idea of convergence, that as we deepen our economic ties with China, it will become more liberal and western-oriented. But that's just out of date."
Her approach contrasts sharply with the tough response to the new security law taken by countries including the UK and US.Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, reacted to the
The US, meanwhile, has approved a series of sanctions on China, penalising banks which do business with Chinese officials, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi branded the move a "brutal, sweeping crackdown against the people of Hong Kong, intended to destroy the freedoms they were promised."
On Tuesday, the FBI Director Christopher Wray said China was "the greatest long-term threat" to the US and detailed hundreds of secretive plots against Washington to steal state secrets, intellectual property, and forcibly repatriate its citizens."The Chinese government is engaged in a broad, diverse campaign of theft and malign influence, and it can execute that campaign with authoritarian efficiency," Wray said in a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.
"They're calculating. They're persistent. They're patient. And they're not subject to the righteous constraints of an open, democratic society or the rule of law."
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