Merkel: Right of asylum available to all, including people of Hong Kong

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, hold a joint news conference via video conference to mark Berlin taking over the EU's rotating presidency from July 1 until the end of the year, in Berlin, Germany, July 2, 2020. Kay Nietfeld/Pool via Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany plans no specific measures to allow Hong Kong citizens affected by the Chinese region’s new administrative law to relocate, Chancellor Merkel said, adding that the right to asylum in Germany was available to anyone in the world.

At a press conference to open Germany’s presidency of the European Union’s council on Thursday, she said Europe must continue its dialogue with China, because of its importance in the world and to Europe specifically.

“We will continue to pursue dialogue with China in all areas: On human rights, on social questions, but also on investor protection, reciprocal trade relations and climate protection, because without China we won’t be able to halt climate change,” she said.

Turning to calls for countries to offer Hong Kong citizens an escape path from the region she added: “The right to asylum in Germany is available to people everywhere, so I don’t see a need for further action on this.”

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Maria Sheahan