Brussels [Belgium], March 6 (ANI): In a development reflecting growing tensions between China and the European Union, Beijing has slammed the 27-country bloc for its comments on the controversial Hong Kong electoral reforms.
The EU has warned Beijing against the Hong Kong electoral reforms, saying it is ready to take additional steps in response to any further serious deterioration of political freedoms and human rights" in the city, Chinese state media reported.
The call by the EU comes as Chinese leaders vowed to reform the electoral system to "deter external forces' interference in the affairs of Hong Kong and Macau" on Friday, the first day of the National People's Congress (NPC) - the most important annual event in China's political calendar.
China has taken exception to the remarks by the EU.
The Chinese mission to the EU urged the bloc to discard their wrong stance on Hong Kong, stop saying and doing futile things, and interfering in Hong Kong's and other China's domestic affairs, according to Global Times.
The details of measures to be taken as part of the Hong Kong electoral reforms have not been made public yet. However, according to the South China Morning Post, the legislative council will add 20 additional lawmakers taken from the Election Committee that selects the city's chief executive. The committee itself may add another 300 voters to become a 1,500-member outfit.
"If enacted, such reform would have potentially far-reaching negative consequences for democratic principles and democratically elected representatives in Hong Kong," the EU statement read.
"It would also run counter to previous electoral reforms in Hong Kong and renege on the commitments enshrined in Articles 45 and 68 of the Basic Law to introduce universal suffrage in the elections of the Chief Executive and Legislative Council.
In response, the Chinese Mission to the EU said that the situation in Hong Kong in recent years has shown that the region's system needs to be improved, to provide systematic support for implementing "one country, two systems," and "patriots governing Hong Kong." (ANI)