June 19, 2019 / 9:29 AM / 5 months ago

Germany economy minister raises Hong Kong during China visit

Germany's Economy Minister Peter Altmaier speaks to the media in front of the Drum Tower in Beijing, China June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Wednesday that during talks in Beijing he raised the issue of Hong Kong, which has been racked by protests against an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

The Hong Kong government has now postponed the bill.

“I also addressed the situation of human rights, especially with regard to Hong Kong, and will do so in further conversations,” Altmaier told reporters in Beijing.

The former British colony returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” agreement, meant to ensure its autonomy. But many residents of the financial hub are worried about what they see as the erosion of freedoms.

Altmaier met China’s market regulation, industry and trade ministers on Wednesday. He is scheduled to meet Vice Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s chief economic adviser, on Thursday.

Reporting by Tom Daly; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

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