EU President Charles Michel conveyed to China President Xi Jinping his “grave concerns” about Hong Kong at an EU China Summit by video.
On behalf of the EU, he warned of “very negative consequences” for the Special Administrative Region if Beijing implements new security legislation.
Michel said that the neutrality of European companies in Hong Kong should be guaranteed, and also called for respect for political diversity, democratic standards and human rights in Hong Kong.
During the “intense” consultation involving Prime Minister Li Keqiang and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the EU urged Chinese leaders to put words into action to move forward with the (trade) relationship between the EU and China. For example, previous agreements on better and fair market access have not been made.
“There has been no progress since last year with the agreed trade agreements,” said Von der Leyen. She also wants to speed up negotiations on an investment treaty so that it can be concluded this year.
According to Von der Leyen, the corona pandemic and challenges in the areas of trade, climate and technology clearly demonstrate “that the EU-China partnership is crucial”. “But in order to further develop our relationship, it needs to be based more on rules and reciprocity so that we can achieve a level playing field.”
Brussels is considering introducing legislation to prevent distortions of competition by companies outside the EU, such as Chinese state-owned companies.