China rejects ‘interference’ in Hong Kong after EU expresses concern on law

Beijing, Jun 23 (efe-epa).- China on Tuesday rejected “any foreign intervention” in Hong Kong after the European Union (EU) leaders warned at their summit with Chinese leaders a day earlier of “very negative consequences” if the national security law was implemented in the former British colony.

“We oppose any foreign interference in this matter,” said Wang Lutong, director-general of European Affairs at China’s foreign ministry, adding that the interests of European companies in the city would not be affected.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday – after she and EU Council Charles Michel had a video meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang – that the implementation of the law, whose final approval is expected by the end of this month, could have “very negative consequences.”

Wang said that the national security law for the semi-autonomous city, passed by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) on May 28, will allow Hong Kong to regain its prosperity, which was in the interest of all.

The NPC Standing Committee plans to pass the legislation so that it comes into effect on July 1, the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China.

Wong added that the issue was a internal matter so any interference was unwelcome.

With regard to the China-EU investment agreement, for which talks began in 2014 and is expected to be concluded this year, Wang said that progress had been made in the negotiations.

In her remarks on Monday, Von der Leyen had said that China and EU “continue to have an unbalanced trade” and urged “more ambition on the Chinese side” to conclude negotiations on the bilateral pact.

“In order to conclude the investment agreement, we would need in particular substantial commitments from China on the behaviour of state-owned enterprises, transparency in subsidies, and transparency on the topic of forced technology transfers,” she added.

The EU also reiterated that it considered Hong Kong and human rights in China “non-negotiable” and, after reviewing some specific cases with the Chinese leaders, said that it had raised concerns about the new national security law Beijing intends to enforce on Hong Kong, which it believes will jeopardize its autonomy.

Wang denied that the human rights situation in China was deteriorating. EFE-EPA


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