Germany should stop aiding Chinese military, Amnesty warns

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A top-secret military document shows that the Bundeswehr plans to train Chinese soldiers in 2020. Human rights group Amnesty International and activist Joshua Wong urged Berlin to take a stand over Beijing’s record.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has called for Germany to cease its practice of training Chinese soldiers.

The organization’s arms and human rights expert Mathias John made the plea in a conversation with German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, published Sunday.

“In light of the human rights situation in China and the general role of the military there, there is no justifiable reason for Germany to help train the Chinese military,” John said.

Referring to the current situation in Hong Kong, he added that “the German government should send a clear sign and immediately cease any military cooperation.”

Well-known Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong also slammed Germany’s involvement.

“It makes me furious that the German Bundeswehr is apparently helping to train Chinese soldiers,” he told the Monday edition of the Bild newspaper. “Given the riots in Hong Kong, the defence ministry should have ended this programme long ago.”

Hong Kong has been rocked by months of violent protests triggered by a proposed law allowing for the extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China, which was subsequently withdrawn. The city’s police force has been accused of using excessive force to quell the protests.

Top-secret military file

Bild said it had seen a top-secret military report that lists 62 countries, including China, whose soldiers are expected to participate in training exercises with the German military in 2020. German soldiers are pegged to train foreign soldiers in the areas of management, logistics, and press and public relations.

Responding to Amnesty’s demand, a spokesperson for the Defense Ministry said that Chinese soldiers regularly participate in educational events organized by the German military, the newspaper reports. These include international officer courses as well as officer training courses offered at military schools, universities and military leadership academies.

“Our goal is to share our democratic values with citizens of other countries,” said the spokesperson.

kp/mm (dpa, KNA)

DW

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