German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticised China over recent developments in Hong Kong and other "dreadful and often horrible" human rights issues.
Merkel made the remarks on Wednesday while addressing the Bundestag, the German Parliament, ahead of a two-day European Union special summit, where all heads of government will gather to discuss China as a top item of the agenda, underlining Europe's deepening sense of unease amid the US-China rivalry, South China Morning Post reported.
During her address, the German leader also lauded Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the United Nations General Assembly, where he promised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and to cap carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. "Looking at the development challenges for China, these targets really are ambitious and they should provide an inspiration for us in Europe as well, to live up to our promises," she said. "I think it's not in dispute when it comes to climate, we need to work with China - it is the largest emitter worldwide."
Merkel made it clear that while dealing with China, Germany will clearly express its different opinions.
"Of course, dialogue with China also means that we very clearly express our different opinions. After all, we have fundamentally different social systems - just look at the ways in which artificial intelligence is used in China," she said.
"We have pointed out we are deeply concerned about the development in Hong Kong, where the 'one country, two systems' principle is being increasingly undermined. We are going to keep addressing that, just as we do on the dreadful and often horrible treatment of minority rights in China," she added.
Merkel made no mentions of Germany 5G policy even through her cabinet was nearing the end of discussion over a new law on IT security, according to local media reports.
Some German lawmakers have been calling for the exclusion of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technology, while others raise concerns over the possibility of retaliation from Beijing, such as punitive measures against the lucrative German car industry.
( With inputs from ANI )
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