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China on Friday hit back at an EU resolution condemning its crackdown on Hong Kong democracy activists, accusing European lawmakers of “gross interference” in its governance of the city.
Members of the European Parliament on Thursday passed the resolution calling for “targeted sanctions” against Chinese and Hong Kong officials held responsible for recent arrests of activists.
The lawmakers also said they “regret” the handling of a landmark investment deal with China pending ratification by MEPs, saying that talks over the deal should have been seized “as a leverage tool aimed at preserving Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, as well as its basic rights and freedoms”.
But Beijing struck back on Friday and urged EU lawmakers to “face up to the reality that Hong Kong has returned to China”.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the resolution showed that some MEPs had “confused right and wrong” and engaged in “gross interference in the affairs of China’s Hong Kong”.
The European Parliament should “stop any form of meddling”, Hua said at a regular press briefing.
Following huge and often violent pro-democracy protests in 2019, Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on Hong Kong last year that effectively criminalised much dissent in a city supposedly guaranteed key liberties and autonomy.
It also toppled the legal firewall between the two territories, giving China jurisdiction over major national security cases and allowing its security agents to operate openly in the city for the first time.
Nearly 100 people have been arrested since the law came in and could face life sentences if convicted.