Sweden joins France and Germany to assess measures against China in Hong Kong

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FILE PHOTO – Buildings are seen above Hong Kong and Chinese flags, as a celebration of pro-Chinese supporters after Chinese parliament passed the national security law for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong, China on June 30, 2020. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Sweden said Monday it supports Franco-German efforts for a firm response to China’s new security law in Hong Kong, joining Denmark and the Netherlands to push the European Union to consider countermeasures in Beijing.

Like much of the West, the European Union has denounced the decision of the Chinese Parliament to adopt national security legislation for the former British colony of Hong Kong despite an international outcry.

But his threat of retaliation is vague.

“There is a proposal for measures specially proposed by Germany and France that I will support because we must react to what is happening in Hong Kong,” said Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde at a rare meeting in person with his EU counterparts in Brussels. .

Last month, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warned of “very negative consequences” for Beijing if it restricted the guarantees of freedom in Hong Kong that are not enjoyed on the continent.

EU officials refused to go into details, but two European diplomats said they were not official sanctions against China, the bloc’s second trading partner.

Instead, they involve extending the EU export ban on equipment that could be used for torture or suppression, such as spike batons or rubber bullets, granting Hong Kong activists long term refugee status in the block and supporting more opportunities for Hong Kong students to study in Europe.

Sweden calls for the release of its citizen Gui Minhai, sentenced to 10 years in prison in February, accused by Beijing of having illegally supplied information abroad.

Gui, a previously Hong Kong-based bookseller selling books criticizing Chinese political leadership, was arrested by mainland police in 2018. He was arrested while he was with Swedish diplomats on a train bound for Beijing .

Robin Emmott report; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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