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Germany's Merkel raises human rights on China trip

Published on Jul 8, 2014 2:33 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the issue of human rights publicly in China on Tuesday - unlike many Western visitors - invoking the fall of the Berlin Wall and telling students their country needed "free dialogue".

The German leader, who grew up in the former East Germany, noted in her carefully worded remarks at the elite Tsinghua University in Beijing that China and Germany have a forum to discuss rights.

"To me, this dialogue is very important because 25 years ago, when the peaceful revolution took place in the former GDR, this finally led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and enabled us to have a free dialogue," she said, referring the German Democratic Republic, East Germany's formal name.

"I think it's also important here in China to have such a free dialogue," she said, according to the official English translation of her German-language speech.

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