German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses for pictures on a bridge crossing the Yangtze River in Wuhan, China September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Rinke
WUHAN, China (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel renewed her calls for a peaceful solution to unrest in Hong Kong on Saturday.
The Hong Kong protests have overshadowed a three-day trip which Merkel had planned to use to press for greater access to Chinese markets for German businesses suffering a slowdown at home.
“I have advocated that conflicts be resolved without violence and that anything else would be a catastrophe from my point of view,” Merkel said.
After talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, Merkel said Beijing had listened to her views.
“This is important,” she added.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced concessions this week to try to end the protests, including formally scrapping a hugely unpopular extradition bill, but many said these were too little, too late.
Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Alexander Smith