China hits out at France, EU over reactions to Hong Kong security law

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Hong Kong Police walk through YOHO Mall 1 in Yuen Long during protests in Yuen Long Mall, Hong Kong, July 21, 2020 (NurPhoto / Getty / Kyodo)

HONG KONG (Kyodo) – China protested against France on Tuesday for rejecting its extradition deal with Hong Kong over the imposition of the controversial anti-secession law in the territory.

France said on Monday it would not ratify an extradition deal with Hong Kong, citing concerns over the National Security Act undermining the framework inherited from the transfer of territory from Britain to China in 1997 and the respect for the autonomous status and fundamental freedoms of Hong Kong.

The move came after Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany and New Zealand suspended their extradition agreements with Hong Kong over China’s perceived encroachment on human rights. territory by enacting the law.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China strongly opposes France’s move and accused the country of interfering in China’s internal affairs with its remarks and actions. unjustified.

In late June, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s highest legislative body, promulgated the Security Law, prohibiting acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces in Hong Kong.

China has also rejected criticism from the European Council of the Hong Kong government’s decisions to postpone the Legislative Council election, initially scheduled for September 6, for one year and to bar pro-democracy candidates from standing. present there.

China’s mission to the European Union said the postponement of elections in Hong Kong due to the coronavirus pandemic was “a justified and necessary step to ensure the safety and health of Hong Kong citizens and the security , fairness and impartiality of elections ”.

The European Council had declared that the postponement of the elections “would call into question the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms guaranteed by the fundamental law” – the mini-constitution in force since the return of the former British colony to Chinese rule in 1997 – while the disqualification of pro-democracy candidates would weaken Hong Kong’s international reputation as a free and open society.

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