Friday

27th May 2022

EU prepares response to China over Hong Kong

  • EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said that one of the measures could be export-bans on sensitive technologies used by law enforcement to suppress the anti-government protests in Hong Kong (Photo: European Union)

The European Union is preparing a "coordinated" package of EU-wide and national measures in response to China's new security law on Hong Kong, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday (13 July).

After a year of anti-government protests, Beijing imposed the new national security law on the former British colony on June 30.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The Chinese legislation introduces new crimes with harsh penalties and allows mainland authorities to legally operate in Hong Kong - undermining Hong Kong's autonomy under the "one country, two systems" governing principle.

"We have agreed to develop a coordinated European Union response to show support for Hong Kong's autonomy and civil society," Borrell said after the meeting with EU foreign ministers on Monday.

"Some member states may already announce national measures as part of this package in the coming days," he added.

Describing Beijing's new security law as "draconian", Borrell said that one of the measures could include export bans on sensitive technologies used by law enforcement - which refers to any equipment or software that could have been used for suppressing the protests in Hong Kong.

Borrell also said EU governments could also review their extradition agreements with Hong Kong authorities, revise their travel advice, increase scholarships opportunities for Hong Kong students and widen visas to Hongkongers.

Finland supported the idea of suspending extradition treaties with Hong Kong, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, German chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the rotating EU Council presidency, welcomed that "EU member states are trying to find a common policy toward China and a common answer".

"It is an alarming development about something that has always applied, which is 'one country, two systems' and that is very much being questioned," Merkel said during a meeting with Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday.

But she also said this is no reason not to remain in dialogue with China.

"It is a difficult point, no question," she added.

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier also said on Sunday that the new security law on Hong Kong will harm China's relations with the West.

"It does not happen too often that Germany, plus the entire European Union, plus all G7 industrialised countries, express their deep concern over the developments," he told German public broadcaster ZDF.

Interview

Chinese ambassador: We must safeguard Hong Kong security

In an interview with EUobserver, Chinese ambassador Cao Zhongming, talks about Hong Kong, disinformation, "unabashed bullying by the United States" on Huawei and on the role of the EU in the world.

US warns EU on making friends with China's 'dictator'

The EU would be abandoning its values if it opted for a deeper partnership with China's "dictatorship", just because it did not get along with Trump, America's ambassador to Europe has said.

EU: Hong Kong election delay undermines democracy

The EU demands Hong Kong reverse decision to postpone Legislative Council elections by one year, as western powers suspend extradition treaties with the global financial hub given China's controversial national security laws.

Opinion

Sunday's election in Hong Kong - what EU can do

This election will be further tarnished by the total absence - for the first time in Hong Kong's history - of opposition parties, following the all-out war waged by Beijing against the city's historically spirited pro-democracy movement.

EU tells China to prove investment deal is worthwhile

"China has to convince us that it is worth having an agreement," EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said, telling China to move on key reciprocity issues on the planned bilateral investment agreement.

Opinion

When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

Neither Reagan nor Gorbachev achieved their goal at the famous Reykjavik summit of 1986. Despite that fact there are lessons that current leaders — particularly Vladimir Putin — could adopt from these two iconic leaders.

Opinion

Orbán's overtures to Moscow are distasteful and detrimental

Some Western European politicians are reviving the chimera of a negotiated settlement. None of this makes the current, half-hearted approach towards sanctioning Russia look better — nor does it shed any favourable light on the cravenness of Hungary's current government.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us