The EU aims at a balanced relationship with China despite tensions over Hong Kong, EU foreign policy chief said on Friday.
Josep Borrell was talking at a press conference following the EU foreign minister’s videoconference.
The EU foreign policy chief expressed grave concerns over China adopting the new Hong Kong national security law.
The bill is not in conformity with China’s international obligations and the Basic Law of Hong Kong, said the EU document he read out.
China’s recent move has “weakened and jeopardized the autonomy of Hong Kong,” Borrell added at the press conference.
At the same time, he insisted that the EU-China summit scheduled for September was still on the agenda.
Earlier this week, the EU foreign policy chief urged the EU to develop a “robust strategy for China” at the German ambassadors’ annual conference.
At Friday’s video meeting, EU foreign ministers started to discuss the basics of this strategy.
The bloc has to follow “an open and honest dialogue” with the Asian country with whom the EU has had a complex relationship. “China can’t be put in a certain box, it is a partner and rival at the same time,” Borrell summarized the main directions.
According to the EU foreign policy chief, the strategy requires “unified and balanced relationship with this global power”, which includes fair competition rules in trade, addresses global security challenges and does not forget about human rights issues either.
Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region under China since 1997, last year witnessed protests against the Carrie Lam administration’s move to legalize extradition to mainland China.
China passed on Thursday a new national security law for Hong Kong set to rein in the semi-autonomous region after months of protests last year.
The new law will make it a crime to undermine Beijing's authority in the territory.