Campaigner Joshua Wong has used his trip to Germany to call for an end to police brutality and a broadening of democratic rights in Hong Kong. Talking to DW, he outlined his solution to the ongoing protests.
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong on Tuesday stressed that the anti-government protests in Hong Kong must continue.
Speaking with DW during his visit to Berlin, he called for free elections and described Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her government as a "puppet of communist authorities."
"I think the protests must continue with our course on free elections," he said.
Wong added that the protests will continue to take place until October 1, China's national day.
Lam released a statement earlier in the day appealing for dialogue with the protesters and for an end to recent violence.
Wong, however, pointed out that he and his fellow protesters have been seeking talks with Lam since July 1. The only solution would come with "universal suffrage," and a widening of "democratic rights for the people of Hong Kong," he said.
"We urge world leaders, when we are facing the threat of troops moving to the border and the possibility of martial rule in Hong Kong, now is the time for world leaders to take on the responsibility to safeguard Hong Kong's political and economic freedom."
'Hong Kong is the new Berlin'
Wong also likened the ongoing protests to the role of Berlin during the Cold War, expanding on remarks he gave on Monday night during an event where he met German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
"With the pressure from Beijing and how the free world supports us, Hong Kong is the new Berlin," he told DW.
He commended German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German government for their response to the protests and praised that they "emphasize the importance not to use violence or not to use force to solve the political crisis."
China condemns Germany visit
China strongly criticized Wong's visit to Germany, describing the meeting between the activist and Germany's foreign minister as an "act of disrespect."
"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 at a news briefing on Tuesday.
Wong has been an important figure in the anti-government protests that began on June 9. The protests were originally triggered by a draft law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has since announced that the bill will be withdrawn.
After his visit to Germany, Wong will later travel to the United States.