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China firmly opposes EU's limitation on sensitive tech exports to HK

2020/7/29 — 21:27

The European Union agreed on Tuesday (28/7) to limit exports to Hong Kong of specific sensitive equipment and technologies particularly with suspected use relating to internal repression, the interception of internal communications or cyber-surveillance after Beijing introduced the national security law in the city. The Chinese Mission to the EU on Wednesday said in response China is "firmly against" the wrong moves by the EU, and that it "has made serious representations with the EU side."

The Council of the EU said in a press release on Tuesday that it “adopted conclusions expressing grave concern over the national security legislation for Hong Kong adopted by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress” on June 30.

The conclusions “restate the EU's support for Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, and its solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, whilst setting out a coordinated response package of measures in various fields,” the EU council said.

廣告

According to the conclusions, the EU considers the national security legislation for Hong Kong adopted by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee on June 30 to be “a matter of grave concern.”

China’s actions and the new legislation “are not in conformity” with its international commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 or with Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the conclusions said.

廣告

“These actions call into question China’s will to uphold its international commitments, undermine trust and impact EU-China relations.”

“The EU’s concerns relate both to the substance of the new legislation and to the process by which it was adopted. As regards the substance, the EU is particularly concerned about the extensive erosion of rights and freedoms that were supposed to remain protected until at least 2047; about the lack of safeguards and clarity in the law; and about its extraterritorial provisions,” the EU council said in the conclusions.

The EU council also stated that, as an initial response, it “has decided to endorse a coordinated package responding to the imposition of the national security law, to be carried out at EU and/or Member State level, as deemed appropriate, within their respective areas of competence” in nine fields.

Those fields include considering the “implications of the national security legislation for asylum, migration, visa and residence policy in accordance with the applicable law, including by discussing relevant aspects at EU level”, further “scrutinising and limiting exports of specific sensitive equipment and technologies for end-use in Hong Kong, in particular where there are grounds to suspect undesirable use relating to internal repression, the interception of internal communications or cyber-surveillance” and exploring “possibilities for stepping up and coordinating scholarships and academic exchanges involving Hong Kong students and universities”, among six others.

According to the conclusions, the purpose of those different measures and of the package as a whole is to “express political support for Hong Kong’s autonomy under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, and solidarity for the people of Hong Kong.”

The EU council's conclusions lastly called for a review of the implementation of the national security law, its effects on rights and freedoms and the business environment in Hong Kong, and the impact of the EU response package before the end of the year.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued a statement on Tuesday regarding the EU council’s conclusions on Hong Kong, saying the EU had “tabled an initiative for a coordinated European response to the application of the Security Law in Hong Kong to the EU Foreign Affairs Council.”

“This means that we now have a common toolbox. It is now up to each member state to implement the measures within the scope of its national competence,” Maas said.

Germany “will immediately cease exports of military equipment, and also of particularly sensitive dual‑use goods, to Hong Kong and treat the territory in the same way as the rest of the People’s Republic of China,” the statement said.

In response to a question about the council conclusions on Hong Kong, a spokesperson for the Chinese Mission to the EU on Wednesday said “Chinese people, notably the Hong Kong people, are in the best position to tell if the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ has been well implemented or not.”

“The EU has no right to make irresponsible remarks,” the spokesperson said. “The vast majority of Hong Kong residents are of the view that the national security law will contribute to the protection of their rights and to the maintenance of long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.”

The Chinese Mission to the EU urged the EU to “truly respect China’s position on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong and to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs in any way.” 

Sources:
歐盟 27 國限制對港輸出敏感科技 擬放寬港人往歐簽證 中方:堅決反對嚴正交涉 / 立場報道
Council of the European Union, German Federal Foreign Office, Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union

 

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