Staff at the Chinese consulate in Munich barricaded themselves inside on Monday as demonstrators set fire to a Chinese flag outside and tried to enter the building, officials said.
Police in the southern German city detained people for suspected trespassing and breach of the peace while they were demonstrating against China’s crackdown in Tibet, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters. Several consular workers sustained minor injuries during the incident, news agency DDP reported.
Extra police were deployed outside the consul’s residence and the consulate, according to Hermann.
The Munich protests came just a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not believe a protest of the Beijing Olympics in August would help the escalating violence in Tibet, which has left at least 80 people dead, according to Tibetan exile groups. China’s official death toll in state-run media has remained at ten.
On Monday, German Interior Minister and Sport Minister Wolfgang Schäuble emphasized his opposition to such a boycott. “If the Olympic games don’t take place, then they can’t effect a single thing,” he said. One can’t expect sports to solve problems that cannot be solved by politics, he continued.
On a visit with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Israel, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday that sports should not politicized and that he couldn’t remember an instance when cancelling an event had helped such a situation in the past.