China denies Merkel visit with activist but pledges euro support | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 03.02.2012
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China denies Merkel visit with activist but pledges euro support

China has pledged to support Europe through its debt crisis as German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrapped up her visit to the country. Merkel was, however, denied access to a prominent human rights activist.

Mo Shaoping

Mo Shaoping was not allowed to meet Merkel on Friday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was denied access to the prominent Chinese lawyer and human rights activist Mo Shaoping on Friday, towards the end of her three-day visit to China.

Mo was due to meet Merkel for dinner at the German embassy in Beijing. The activist told press agency Associated Press, however, that he was prevented from attending after police stormed into his office.

"There was no legal basis for them to restrict my freedom as a citizen," Mo said, adding that the officers were "very polite, but very firm."

Mo has represented notable dissidents, including Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. He had planned to meet Merkel to discuss China's legal environment and the cases of individual lawyers who have suffered from state harassment.

Strong support

Earlier on Friday Merkel met with Chinese President Hu Jintao. The two exchanged conciliatory words, largely ignoring public disputes between the two countries.

Hu said that Merkel's visit would strengthen the "trust and understanding" between the two countries. He also vowed there will be "no lack of Chinese support" for the European Union to overcome its debt crisis.

The chancellor also spoke of her negotiations the previous day with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Both had agreed, she told journalists, that "every country in Europe must meet its responsibilities and play its part."

sb/ccp (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)