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EU Concerned Over Beijing's Move to Develop National Security Bill for Hong Kong

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union expresses grave concerns over Beijing's decision to develop a security bill for Hong Kong as it contradicts the Hong Kong Basic Law and China's international commitment under the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday.

"The EU expresses its grave concern at the steps taken by China on 28 May, which are not in conformity with its international commitments (Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984) and the Hong Kong Basic Law. This risks to seriously undermine the 'One Country Two Systems' principle and the high degree of autonomy of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong," Borrell said in a statement, as quoted by the European Council.

According to the minister, Beijing's decision casts doubts on China’s will to uphold its international commitments. The issue will be further discussed with the Chinese side, Borrell added.

The talks came a day after the Chinese parliament passed a resolution, under which the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress will be in charge of developing a national security law banning secessionist and subversive activity in Hong Kong in the wake of last year's sweeping protests against amendments to extradition law in the special administrative region.

The move is supported by the Hong Kong leadership but has been met by a wave of protests in the city, as residents fear an infringement on their rights.

The proposed legislation is being criticized not only by Hong Kong residents but also abroad, with Washington even threatening to change its policy toward Hong Kong amid concerns that the proposed law would limit free speech and the region's autonomy.