Chief Executive Carrie Lam has summoned Germany's acting consul general David Schmidt, to strongly object to Berlin's move to grant asylum to two Hong Kong localists charged with rioting.
A statement issued by the government said Lam met Schmidt at her office on Friday afternoon and asked him to convey "her deep regrets and strong objections" over the asylum decision to the relevant authorities in his country.
She also told the diplomat that Germany had "unjustifiably undermined Hong Kong’s international reputation" when it comes to the rule of law and judicial independence, and she doubted that the German authorities' decision "had been based on the facts".
Lam's intervention in the saga comes two days after international media revealed that Ray Wong, who led the pro-independence group Hong Kong Indigenous, and Alan Li, who was a member of the group, had been granted refugee status in Germany around a year ago.
Wong, 25, and Li, 27, had both been charged over the 2016 Mong Kok riot, but fled to Germany while on bail in 2017.
"Mrs Lam stressed that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's rule of law, law enforcement agencies and judicial independence have long been held in high regard by local and international communities. In particular, independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication is guaranteed under the Basic Law," the statement said.
It added that Lam had told Schmidt that anyone accused of breaching the law in Hong Kong gets an open and fair trial.
The statement said that Wong and Li were facing serious charges when they skipped bail, including rioting and assaulting a police officer, and given Germany's long-standing diplomatic presence in Hong Kong, Berlin should have taken into account the easily available facts about the riot which had "seriously jeopardised public order and safety".
Lam told Schmidt that she was "dismayed that apparently such a basic assessment of facts had not been made" in determining the truth of the men's asylum claims, the statement added.
Before Lam's meeting with the German official, Beijing had already expressed its displeasure over the asylum cases, saying Germany should not interfere in China's internal affairs.