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EU prepares response to Chinese security law in Hong Kong

The European Union (EU) could limit the export of equipment that can be used for surveillance and repression purposes in Hong Kong, in response to Beijing’s imposition of a controversial security law, diplomatic sources told AFP.

The decision, accompanied by other measures to support the population of the former British colony, such as the granting of visas or scholarships, should receive formal approval from the 27 EU countries in the afternoon, they said.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, advanced the bloc’s response on July 13, at the end of a meeting of the 27 EU foreign ministers in Brussels, where the ministers of France and Germany presented a joint plan.

Europeans reject Beijing’s imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong that, in their opinion, does not respect the principle of “one country, two systems” agreed with the transfer of its sovereignty in 1997 from the United Kingdom to China.

This new law allows for the repression of four types of crimes against state security: subversive activities, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with sentences that can lead to life imprisonment.

The local pro-democracy opposition also fears that the new legislation will cause a serious setback in the freedoms in force in this territory of 7.5 million inhabitants.

The United States and other countries have asked Beijing to back down.

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