Germany–Hong Kong relations

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Germany-Hong Kong relations
Map indicating locations of Germany and Hong Kong

Germany

Hong Kong

Germany–Hong Kong relations refers to international relations between Germany and Hong Kong.

History[edit]

Germany and Hong Kong bilateral relations could be traced back[citation needed] to the unification of Germany, when Hong Kong was still a colony of the British Empire, and mostly follow the foreign policies of London. The German Consulate General Hong Kong in Central, Hong Kong has been the representation of Germany in Hong Kong.[1] The connection between the two continued when the United Kingdom retreated from Hong Kong in 1997. Since then, Articles 151, 153 and 155 of Hong Kong Basic Law permits Hong Kong to conclude non-military bilateral agreements with foreign countries, while articles 152 permits Hong Kong joining international organisations.[2] The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin was opened in 2011.

Trade[edit]

Germany is Hong Kong’s most important trading partner in Europe and ranked 10th among Hong Kong’s world trading partners.[3] On the other hand, Hong Kong is Germany's ninth largest trading partner in Asia.[4]

In 2014, the value of exports from Hong Kong to Germany was worth 15B Hong Kong dollars, while the importing goods from Germany to Hong Kong was worth 58.9B Hong Kong dollars. Major exports from Hong Kong are electric motors (9.7%) and base metal watches (4.4%). Major exports from Germany to Hong Kong are cars (12%), and measuring instruments (>3.2%).[5][6] As of 1 June 2015, there were 87 German companies with regional headquarters in Hong Kong, while another 121 had regional offices.[7]

Social and Cultural[edit]

Reflecting Germany’s diverse activities in Hong Kong, there were about 1,050 German nationals resided in Hong Kong as at the end of 2014.[8] Hong Kong had hosted 213 802 German tourists in 2015.[9] The German Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong is one of the largest European Chambers in Hong Kong which provides networking opportunities in Hong Kong, Asia Pacific and Germany.[10]

Both Germany and Hong Kong have offered "Working Holiday Programs". The program allows 300 youngsters to holiday in Germany or Hong Kong and to take temporary employment as needed to cover the expenses of their visit for a maximum period of 12 months.[11][12] In addition, German and Hong Kong universities have established notable amount of partnerships for research and educational purpose.[13]

Incidences[edit]

2014 Umbrella Movement[edit]

In 2014, Hong Kong had seen a large scale protest, the Umbrella Movement, in striving for full democracy in Hong Kong. German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded to the incident and pressured Hong Kong government by stressing that freedom of speech should remain guaranteed by law in Hong Kong.[14] At a function to celebrate the 24th anniversary of German reunification attended by the Hong Kong Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, Germany's Consul-General to Hong Kong, Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff, responded to the incident stressing, " ... especially in the light of our own recent German history, I believe that Hong Kong can be proud of its youth. I am sure that the efforts to make Hong Kong more democratic will be good for Hong Kong politically, but also economically".[15] At a reunification party in Leipzig, German president Joachim Gauck compared the spirit of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters to German protesters in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He said the protesters "overcame their fear of their oppressors because their longing for freedom was greater".[16] The statement was made one day before Gauck met the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.[17]

During the Umbrella Movement, seven police officers were sued for the incidence of Beating of Ken Tsang. The police officers were sentenced to jail in February 2017. A mass gathering of the Hong Kong police officers and supporters was organized to support the police officers. During the mass gathering, a speaker described the police officers as the persecuted Jews in World War II. In response, German consulate expressed through Facebook that the comparison between the Jewish victims being massacred and suppressed by the Nazi state authority and the Hong Kong police officers being sentenced for abuse of power was absolutely inappropriate.[18]

2016 Würzburg train attack[edit]

In the 2016 Würzburg train attack, 4 Hongkongers were attacked and seriously injured on a train. Hong Kong Chief Executive condemned the attack as he sent a team of immigration officers to accompany the victims’ relatives to Germany. Officers from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Berlin were dispatched to visit the injured.[19][20][21][22] Amber alert was issued on Germany by the Hong Kong government as a response to the incident.[23][24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ German Consulate General Hong Kong-Address, Office Hours and Emergency Contact
  2. ^ Hong Kong Basic Law Chapter VII : External Affairs
  3. ^ Bilateral Relations Hong Kong - Germany Archived 2016-06-04 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Where does Germany export to? (2014)
  5. ^ What does Hong Kong export to Germany? (2014), retrieved 27/7/2016.
  6. ^ What does Hong Kong import from Germany? (2014), retrieved 27/7/2016.
  7. ^ Germany: Market Profile
  8. ^ Germany: Market Profile
  9. ^ Bilateral Relations Hong Kong - Germany Archived 2016-06-04 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ German Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong
  11. ^ WORKING HOLIDAY VISA
  12. ^ Hong Kong Working Holiday Scheme – Germany
  13. ^ Bilateral Relations Hong Kong - Germany Archived 2016-06-04 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Merkel calls for Hong Kong free speech guarantee ahead of Germany-China summit". Seymour Tribune. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  15. ^ South China Morning Post DAY ELEVEN: Full Coverage (1 pm)
  16. ^ "Sea of candles marks 'magical' rally that shook Berlin Wall". Business Insider. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  17. ^ "German president honors peaceful protests of 1989". 9 October 2014. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  18. ^ 自比猶太人撐「七警」 德國以色列領事館發聲明批比喻不當, Sing Tao Daily, 24 February, 2017.
  19. ^ "Two Hongkongers critically hurt in German axe attack by Afghan refugee who kept Islamic State flag at home". South China Morning Post. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  20. ^ "CE condemns violent attack in Würzburg, Germany". Info.gov.hk. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  21. ^ "Immigration Department follows up incident of Hong Kong residents being attacked in Würzburg, Germany". Info.gov.hk. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  22. ^ "Immigration Dept to help attack victims". News.gov.hk. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  23. ^ Amber alert on Germany issued
  24. ^ 五日内两恐袭 港府对德国发黄色外游警示