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EU likely to discuss Hong Kong during virtual summit with China

ANI | Updated: Jun 22, 2020 15:51 IST

Hong Kong, June 22 (ANI): The European Union leaders are expected to put direct pressure on China during the upcoming 22nd China-EU Summit as Hong Kongers call out for help from the international community to save their special status from controversial national security law moved forward by Beijing.
"We are trying to exercise influence in expressing our concerns by reaching out actively over the last few days and weeks - and this will be the highest-ranking reaching out on Monday, to our partners in Beijing," the South China Morning Post quoted an EU source as saying.
Another EU source said that the issue of Hong Kong needs to be addressed as "this affects our ability to further develop our relations between EU and China."
It will be the first encounter between the Chinese leader and Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president. They will be holding a telephonic discussion for an hour on the phone.
Joining them on the call will be European Council President Charles Michel.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will chair the summit with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Sputnik reported.
The meeting will be held in an online format and will mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of relations between China and the European Economic Commission (predecessor to the EU).
Meanwhile, amid the growing voices against the anti-national security law, China is trying hard to convince the world that the city is actually welcoming the security law.
Xinhua news agency reported that the draft law, which was submitted for deliberation at the 19th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) from Thursday to Saturday, has been hailed for taking into account Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and legal differences and striking a perfect balance between safeguarding national security and protecting the legal rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people.
The Chinese authorities on Saturday divulged details of the new national security legislation for Hong Kong after the three-day meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, Sputnik reported.
The controversial legislation comprises six chapters and 66 articles. The chapters, inter alia, cover general provisions, duties and mechanisms for ensuring Hong Kong's national security, issues of crimes and penalties, jurisdiction and law enforcement.
The draft document lists the main responsibilities of the Chinese authorities regarding national security, as well as Hong Kong's constitutional responsibility to maintain it. The bill sets out rules for the prevention, suppression and punishment of secessionist activities, attempts to undermine the state authority, terrorist activities and colluding with foreign states or forces to jeopardise national security.
According to the bill, the Chinese government will establish a national security agency in Hong Kong, which will be responsible for analysing security situation in the special administrative region, making recommendations on the policy in the field of national security, as well as monitoring, coordinating, guiding and supporting Hong Kong in the implementation of national security obligations. Moreover, the body will have to set up a mechanism for cooperation with the region's law enforcement and judicial authorities.
The bill stresses that the central government of China will have very limited jurisdiction primarily confined to special national security matters. (ANI)

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