On Tuesday, May 26, the European Union spoke out against the repressive measures that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intends to take on the city of Hong Kong by means of a new security law.
According to Reuters, European Council President Charles Michel, said, “We attach great importance to the preservation of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy in line with the Basic Law and international commitments.”
After attending a video conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Michel said that Europe and Japan shared the same ideas regarding the bill promoted by the CCP, which compromises the sovereignty of the Hong Kong people. “We are not naive about Chinese behavior,” he said.
He also said that Europe supported the principle of “one country two systems” under which Hong Kong’s autonomy is governed.
The law that was pushed by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang before the National People’s Congress “proscribe secessionist and subversive activity as well as foreign interference and terrorism in the city,” according to the South China Morning Post.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Charles Mok, a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, said that Beijing was not really willing to understand what the Hong Kong people’s concerns were, so it did not allow any dialogue or negotiation.
“Unfortunately, I think this is just a sign that Beijing wants total control. And they are seeing that basically they cannot get that kind of feeling of total control over Hong Kong,” Mok said.
“We do have our own operating system over her—we do have our own Legislature and a relatively independent court at the moment. So they’re seeing a lot of these initiatives that they want to see—enhancing their control—being hampered,” the legislator added.
Mok said the Hong Kong government was “totally on Beijing’s side,” arguing that it had not been democratically elected by the citizens but by a carefully selected committee by Beijing, “So it totally follows the line of the Beijing government [the CCP],” he added.
Meanwhile, the bill seeking to implement CCP control is expected to be discussed at a regular meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Friday.
According to Reuters, a spokesman for the European Union’s Executive Committee said it was still too early for the bloc to make a decision on possible sanctions against Beijing.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said that a “stronger strategy” was still needed when dealing with Beijing.
Borrell also said, “The European Union has a strong stake in the continued stability and prosperity of Hong Kong under the ‘One Country Two Systems’ principle.”
The Hong Kong Free Press points out, the “one country, two systems” policy states that Hong Kong belongs to China but is governed as a “Special Administrative Region,” a Basic Law that came into effect when the British government’s administration ended in 1997.