EU threatens to send delegation to Hong Kong amid reform

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EU threatens to send delegation to Hong Kong amid reform

Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission for coordinating the European Union's External Action, speaks to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on June 8, 2021. Jean-Francois Badias Pool via REUTERS.

On Wednesday, the European Union denounced China's large reform of its political system as a breach of its international commitments and threatened to send a delegation to visit the city.

The possible move is likely to upset China which would see it as an interference with its domestic affairs and potentially intensify relations with China after the EU put an investment deal with Hong Kong over concerns about China's claim to sovereignty in most of the south China Sea, and the mass detentions of Muslim Uyghurs in northwestern China.

The EU will intensify its response to the situation in Hong Kong, notably by increasing support to its civil society and media, promoting freedom of expression, facilitating the mobility of Hong Kong citizens, as well as ensuring observation of the trials of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, said the top diplomat Josep Borrell in a statement.

Also, a visit of EU officials will be considered, said he.

The recent legislative changes undertaken by Hong Kong's legislators in May will reduce the proportion of seats in the primary ward that are filled by direct elections from half to less than a quarter.

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