27 EU nations jointly call on China to withdraw Hong Kong security law

EU member states offer rare rebuke of China, say new legislation ‘undermines’ Hong Kong's autonomy

UK ambassador to the UN Julian Braithwaite (left). (Twitter photo)

UK ambassador to the UN Julian Braithwaite (left). (Twitter photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, 27 countries on Tuesday (June 30) jointly urged Beijing to withdraw the sweeping national security law it has imposed on Hong Kong.

Following Beijing legislators' unanimous passage of the controversial legislation earlier that same day, 27 countries, including the UK, France, Australia, Germany, Japan, and several EU states, issued a joint statement to express their concerns. Julian Braithwaite, the British ambassador to the UN, delivered the statement on behalf of the signatories.

The statement expressed "deep and growing concerns" over the legislation, which has clear implications for the human rights of Hong Kong citizens. It stressed that the new security law "undermines" the credibility of the "one country, two systems" principle and the freedoms previously promised to the semi-autonomous region.

The countries asked Beijing to reconsider the law and engage with Hong Kong citizens instead. They also pointed out that several signatories are worried about Beijing's "arbitrary detention and wide surveillance" targeting Uighurs and minorities in the Xinjiang region, reported CNA.

Under the Hong Kong security law, Beijing is empowered to overrule Hong Kong's legal system and prohibit acts of secession and subversion, potentially silencing any opposition to the central government.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) during a Tuesday press conference also responded to the law, saying a special office would open Wednesday (July 1) to provide humanitarian assistance to residents of the former British colony. Meanwhile, major pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong, such as Demosistō, Studentlocalism, and Hong Kong National Front, have decided to disband out of fear of becoming political prisoners of the Chinese government.