Canada and EU voice support for Hong Kong protesters, urge dialogue over violence

Foreign affairs officials issue joint statement calling for restraint from Beijing

File photo: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland

File photo: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Saturday (Aug. 17), the foreign affairs chiefs of Canada and the European Union issued a joint statement condemning violence in Hong Kong, and also urged restraint by authorities confronting protesters in the territory.

Diplomatic chief of the EU Federica Mogherini and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland issued the joint statement in Ottawa on Saturday. Both diplomats expressed support for Hong Kong residents to peacefully assemble and voice their grievances.

The statement called on all “key stakeholders” to pursue “broad-based and inclusive dialogue,” while expressing concern over an “increasing number of unacceptable violent incidents” that have occurred in recent weeks, reports Canadian Press.

Mogherini was quoted by Channel News Asia stating that protesters in Hong Kong have been “exercising their fundamental right of assembly.” However, the EU leader also noted widespread concern of increased violence and instability.

After a recent buildup of Chinese troops in Shenzhen, across the Hong Kong border, and statements by high-profile Chinese politicians and media outlets, there is growing worry among Hong Kong residents and countries across the world that Beijing may be preparing for a crack-down in the city. Such a move could irrevocably alter the city’s political future and may upend economic stability in the region.

File photo: EU Foreign Affairs Policy Chief Federica Mogherini (Associated Press photo)