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Belgium: EU urges China to respect Hong Kong's autonomy01:39

Belgium: EU urges China to respect Hong Kong's autonomy

Belgium, Brussels
June 22, 2020 at 21:24 GMT -00:00 · Published

The leaders of the European Union briefed the press after they held video conferences with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Brussels, Monday.

President of European Council Charles Michel said the EU expressed "grave concerns" regarding China's new national security law, which sparked protests in Hong Kong with demonstrators fearing it might affect the region's special status.

"We told China to follow promises made to the people of Hong Kong and the international community regarding Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and guaranteed freedoms," Michel stated.

While addressing criticism of the new bill, the EU expressed support of so-called 'one country - two systems' principle which means keeping the island under the rule of Beijing, at the same time guaranteeing a free-market economy allowing Hong Kong to remain an important financial hub in Asia hosting 1,600 European companies.

"We consider it necessary to respect the political neutrality of these companies. We do not accept the pressure put to threaten the political neutrality of the European companies anchored in Hong Kong," Michel concluded.

Michel praised the "dynamic" trade relationship between Brussels and Beijing, with a daily turnover of "around one billion euro a day."

However, "progress is needed in many areas to rebalance this relationship and we made clear that we need to resolve concrete problems," he stressed.

Mandatory credit: EBS

Belgium: EU urges China to respect Hong Kong's autonomy01:39
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Mandatory credit: EBS

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The leaders of the European Union briefed the press after they held video conferences with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Brussels, Monday.

President of European Council Charles Michel said the EU expressed "grave concerns" regarding China's new national security law, which sparked protests in Hong Kong with demonstrators fearing it might affect the region's special status.

"We told China to follow promises made to the people of Hong Kong and the international community regarding Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and guaranteed freedoms," Michel stated.

While addressing criticism of the new bill, the EU expressed support of so-called 'one country - two systems' principle which means keeping the island under the rule of Beijing, at the same time guaranteeing a free-market economy allowing Hong Kong to remain an important financial hub in Asia hosting 1,600 European companies.

"We consider it necessary to respect the political neutrality of these companies. We do not accept the pressure put to threaten the political neutrality of the European companies anchored in Hong Kong," Michel concluded.

Michel praised the "dynamic" trade relationship between Brussels and Beijing, with a daily turnover of "around one billion euro a day."

However, "progress is needed in many areas to rebalance this relationship and we made clear that we need to resolve concrete problems," he stressed.

Mandatory credit: EBS

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