The Chinese government is introducing a new law to gain more control over the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Critics fear the provisions of the law will lead to the end of Hong Kong's independence, and the city's democracy movement has announced new protests.
Glacier Kwong and Joschua Wong, two of the leaders of the Hong Kong democracy movement, told Business Insider Germany that they were calling on the German government to support them.
They also warn of the consequences of Germany's inaction.
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Two Hong Kong democracy activists have called on the German government to support them in their fight against China.
Glacier Kwong and Joshua Wong's plea comes in the wake of China's announcement that it will unroll a new security law for Hong Kong.
"I very much hope Angela Merkel doesn't sacrifice Germany's fundamental values to support the economy and appease China," Kwong said in an interview with Business Insider Germany. "Being dependent on China will sooner or later do Germany serious harm."
According to a draft that's to be passed at the People's Congress, Chinese security bodies will take action against terrorism and foreign influences in Hong Kong in the future.
Demands for Hong Kong's independence and more democracy happen to fall under the People's Republic's definition of "terrorism."
"This law threatens not only Hong Kong's freedom but also the interests of the international community in the city," Wong said. Hong Kong is one of the most important financial centers in the world and is considered to be the gateway to the Chinese market.
"I'm therefore calling on the world's heads of government, and, in particular, Chancellor Merkel and the heads of state of Europe, to oppose this draconian law and to call on China to abide by the UN treaties, which are binding under international law," Wong told Business Insider.
'The coronavirus crisis has shown us no one can rely on China'
A girl wears a mask inside a bus amid the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong, on Jan. 25, 2020. AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim
"Beijing has just driven the final nail in the coffin of Hong Kong," Kwong said, with regards to the new law.
Democratic aspirations in Hong Kong have always been a nuisance to China, all the more so now that influence over Taiwan has waned as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
"The international community is now lacking the time and resources to help Hong Kong in the pandemic, so the Chinese government is taking action," Kwong said.
Kwong still hopes for international support for her city. "We need the world's attention and help now. Hong Kong is the bridge between China and the world. If that bridge is destroyed, it will not only affect us, but everyone."
So the nations of the world should not make the mistake of becoming too economically dependent on China, the activists said.
"Those who bet on China now will regret it later," Kwong said. "The coronavirus crisis has shown us no one can rely on China as a political power or a trading partner."
'China is now taking its revenge on the democracy movement'
A protester makes a gesture during a protest on June 12, 2019 in Hong Kong China. Large crowds of protesters gathered in central Hong Kong as the city braced for another mass rally in a show of strength against the government over a divisive plan to allow extraditions to China. Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
Kwong and Wong are convinced that China hopes to use the new law to take revenge on those within the movement fighting for more democracy.
Last year, the movement saw millions take to Hong Kong's streets to protest against the influence of the People's Republic. It lasted months.
"I am probably one of the main targets of this law because I've spoken openly abroad about China's autocratic oppression and police violence in Hong Kong," Wong said. As one of the most prominent leaders of the democracy movement last year, he ended up becoming the face of the protests against China.
He wants to continue these protests now, and exile is out of the question for him.
"I will stay in Hong Kong and fight with all Hong Kongers for the justice and democracy we deserve," Wong said.
Kwong, who has been studying in Germany since 2018 but is currently in Hong Kong, also wants to stay in the city for the time being and take up the fight against China.
"It is quite frightening," she said. "There will be protests and violence, but we cannot just willingly give up our rights. And if I leave now, I can never go back home."