Europe Airs ‘Grave Concern’ Over China’s Move in Hong Kong

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union voiced “grave concern” over sweeping new Chinese national-security legislation in Hong Kong and questioned China’s respect for its international commitments.

The stance was outlined in an EU statement drawn up as part of a video conference of the 27-nation bloc’s foreign ministers a day after Chinese lawmakers approved the controversial measure. China was a main subject of the ministerial meeting chaired on Friday by EU foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell.

“The EU expresses its grave concern at the steps taken by China on May 28, which are not in conformity with its international commitments,” the bloc said in its statement published in Brussels. “This decision further calls into question China’s will to uphold its international commitments. We will raise the issue in our continuing dialog with China.”

Europe is engaged in a balancing act in dealing with an increasing assertive China. The EU has sought to enlist Beijing’s help as U.S. President Donald Trump has turned his back on international organizations and agreements, while the bloc also shares Washington’s concerns about alleged unfair Chinese trade and investment practices.

The EU is China’s No. 1 trade partner, while the Chinese market is the second biggest for exports from the bloc after the U.S.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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