On Tuesday, the European Union imposed sanctions on China over its treatment of Hong Kong moving the EU closer to the Trump administration’s tougher stance toward Beijing.
The sanctions include limiting exports of equipment China could use for repression and reassessing extradition arrangements in light of Beijing’s imposition of a draconian national security law.
EU governments will work to ease visa and asylum opportunities for Hong Kong residents. The EU indicated it could take further steps at the end of the year.
China reacted angrily to the sanctions, with a spokesman for the Chinese mission to the EU telling the bloc “to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs in any way.”
European businesses, especially German companies, rely on China’s market for profits and growth, so a deep rupture like that between the U.S. and China appears unlikely… But in a sign that EU attitudes toward China are shifting closer to those in the U.S., Brussels and Washington recently began talks on creating a new trans-Atlantic channel to coordinate positions on China. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell proposed the forum last month and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly seized on the idea.
“Once we’re confident that we have a shared understanding of the threat that is posed by the Chinese Communist Party, then we can begin to take action,” Mr. Pompeo said after taking up Mr. Borrell’s proposal.
MacDailyNews Take: China’s moves in Hong Kong and their mishandling of the COVID-19 virus at its outset have woken up a long-slumbering world.