European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday she was “in touch” with international partners to weigh up a potential riposte to Chinas new national security law in Hong Kong.
Chinas rubber-stamp parliament today secretly passed a sweeping security law limiting Hong Kongs fundamental freedoms and empowering the chief executive to appoint judges to hear cases brought under the law, the South China Morning Post and BBC reported.
In her strongest remarks on the matter to date, von der Leyen said the EU was now mulling a coordinated response following calls for action from the European Parliament.
“We have indeed consistently said that China would risk very negative consequences if it went ahead with this law, including for business confidence, Chinas reputation, public perception in Hong Kong and internationally,” she said at a press conference following a virtual summit with South Koreas President Moon Jae-in.
“Many across Europe including in the European Parliament have made similar statements. So we remain in touch with our international partners on this matter and will pay carefully attention on how to respond.”
Asked whether the Commission would follow the European Parliaments call to sue China before the International Court of Justice, or was considering other actions such as a ban on dual-use exports to Hong Kong, von der Leyen said the Commission “will indeed carefully assess” the next steps. “We are in close cooperation with the European institutions. This has to be done with care,” she said.