German Prime Minister Wanted to Help Hu Realise the Importance of Freedoms

The famous German TV Station First Channel reported on the German President Horst Koehler’s speech during a press conference after his meeting with Chinese President Hu. Mr. Koehler said that he pointed out to Mr. Hu that respecting people’s wishes, enjoying freedom and dignity, are the common value of the world and the aim of the United Nation’s Constitution. Only through promoting peace, freedom and democracy, can people’s lives improve and only then, can economic growth be maintained. A reporter commented on the two-minute long criticism as rather unusual. While Mr. Koehler was speaking, the camera focused on Hu Jintao who appeared stiff, embarrassed and lowered his head unconsciously.

Koehler welcomed Hu with full military honour. However, while Hu walked on the red carpet facing the presidential palace, he could not avoid seeing two large banners in front of him that read: “Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice” and “Hu Jintao, the Time Given to You by Gods and the Chinese People Is Limited.” Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful appeal there with the two banners. The whole scenario was broadcast on the major German TV channels.

Falun Gong practitioners have written personal letters to President Koehler in October after learning that Hu Jintao was invited to visit Germany. They hoped Mr. Koehler would ask Hu to put an end to the persecution of Falun Gong and release Mr. Jiang Renzheng who was deported from Germany and is now suffering persecution in China. Petitions were collected, calling on the German President to help stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China. They were presented, along with an open letter, to Mr. Koehler’s office prior to Hu’s visit. Also in early August this year, when Mr. Koehler was visiting Cham city, a local practitioner handed a letter to him with the help of an international human rights organisation. She asked him to pay attention to the brutal persecution and rescue Mr. Jiang Renzheng.

Before his meeting with Hu, Koehler especially walked to the protesters and shook hands with Falun Gong practitioners and asked them what they wanted. Practitioners told him to ask Hu to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. Mr. Koehler promised that he would raise the issue of human rights with Hu. He also encouraged practitioners to continue in their efforts. This was reported by the newspaper Berliner Zeitung.

Before Hu Jintao’s German visit, the Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing publicly made a statement, saying that all politicians around the world want to have a good relationship with China and that China is important to Germany’s economy. As for human rights, Li claimed that it is China’s internal problem and it has been clearly defined in the Chinese Constitution which he was happy to make available. Li’s effort, however, was unable to help Hu and President Koehler gave Hu a lesson on democracy on his first day in Germany in front of the press. The public scrutiny prompted Hu to lower his head. All major German media reported on Koehler’s speech.

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