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Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the adoption of EU Council conclusions on Hong Kong

28.07.2020 - Press release

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (28 July) on the adoption of EU Council conclusions on Hong Kong

If we want to stand up for our values and principles in dealing with powers like China, then we as Europeans must speak with one voice. That is why I’m glad that we have reached consensus among the EU Foreign Ministers today on Council conclusions on Hong Kong. These conclusions send a signal of solidarity with the people who fear that the “one country, two systems” principle will be undermined and their freedoms curtailed. We expect China to respect its obligations under international law and to guarantee autonomy and the freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law.

Together with France, we have 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. This applies to the export of sensitive goods – especially technologies that can be used for surveillance purposes. We also want to strengthen our dialogue with civil society and make greater use of our scholarship programmes to this end. We will review the national extradition agreements and pay particular attention to the extraterritorial impact of the law.

We have already begun to take first steps as far as Germany is concerned. For me, this also means that we 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.

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