The Latest on protests in Hong Kong (all times local):
The German government says it considers China to be a responsible actor that will respect Hong Kong laws guaranteeing freedom of speech and rule of law.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday that Hong Kong’s 1997 Basic Law “is a Chinese law, and as such we naturally expect that the People’s Republic of China, too, won’t call into question the peaceful exercise of these rights.”
Seibert told reporters in Berlin that while Germany has been following events in Hong Kong with concern, “we know China as a responsible actor on the world stage with whom we work well together in many areas.”
He reiterated German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent call for a peaceful solution based on dialogue.
Members of China’s paramilitary People’s Armed Police have been seen marching and practicing crowd-control tactics at a sports complex across from Hong Kong, in what some have interpreted as a threat against pro-democracy protesters.
Hong Kong’s government has refused to talk with demonstrators who have protested since early June to demand expanded political rights and the scrapping of legislation that could have seen criminal suspects sent to China.
Vehicles belonging to the paramilitary People’s Armed Police were arrayed Friday in Shenzhen, a city just across from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong police officers said Thursday they weren’t aware of plans for Chinese forces to join efforts to quell the demonstrations.
The protests have been marked by increasing violence and shut down the Hong Kong airport earlier this week.