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Iran Press TV

EU's Hong Kong proposal prompts Beijing's censure

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 3:11 PM

China has denounced a decision by the European Union to restrict the export of 'sensitive' technology to Hong Kong in response to a new security law in the semi-autonomous city.

On Tuesday, the EU agreed to a proposal made by France and Germany to restrict the export of technology to Hong Kong that might be used for what the bloc calls surveillance and repression in response to a uniform national security law introduced by China there.

The legislation has been harshly criticized by Western countries, which allege that it harms Hong Kong's semi-autonomous status. Beijing rejects the allegation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Wednesday the EU restriction "violates the basic international relations norm of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs."

"China firmly opposes this and has made stern representations with the EU," he added at a regular news briefing.

The new security law criminalizes sedition, secession, and subversion against the mainland and allows Chinese national security institutions to operate in Hong Kong for the first time since 1997, when Hong Kong returned from the British to Chinese rule. Those offenses are punishable by sentences of up to life in prison.

Skeptics say it would be a blow to the territory's autonomy and civil liberties, but Beijing has assured that the law would target a minority of individuals who disregard law and order in Hong Kong, which was rocked last year by riots over a now-shelved extradition bill.

The EU, which has struggled to agree on a united response to China, a hugely important trading partner to the bloc, would also bring in measures to support Hongkongers by facilitating travel to Europe for them through the granting of visas, scholarships, and academic exchanges.

Wang on Wednesday urged the EU to "stop any interference in Hong Kong matters and China's internal affairs."

Earlier this month, Canada, Australia, and Britain suspended their extradition arrangements with Hong Kong in reaction to the new law.

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