According to a EU draft document, the bloc will limit the export of technology that may be used for repression or surveillance to Hong Kong following China imposing its draconian security law on the territory.
In what will be the first step by the European Union, the EU expressed “grave concern” over the sweeping national security law, with 27 EU states agreeing to a series of sanctions, including trade curbs and a review of visa agreements with the territory.
The document, backed by EU ambassadors, states the EU will be “further scrutinising and limiting exports of specific sensitive equipment and technologies for end-use in Hong Kong, in particular where there are grounds to suspect undesirable use relating to internal repression, the interception of internal communications or cyber surveillance”.
The document is expected to come into force from July 28, 2020.
The European Union also committed to “considering the implications of the national security legislation for asylum, migration, visa and residence policy”, states the document. It will not launch any new negotiation with Hong Kong in the near future and will review the implications of the security law on existing agreements it has with Hong Kong.
The agreed measures could be applied by the European Union or its member states “as deemed appropriate”, states the document.
With this document, the European Union will reiterate its support for Hong Kong’s autonomy as well as for its citizens, and pledge to further engaging with the civil society from the territory.
The impact of the adopted measures will be reviewed before the end of 2020.