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China criticizes 'major interference' by EU lawmakers in Hong Kong

China criticizes 'major interference' by EU lawmakers in Hong Kong

China responded on Friday to an EU resolution condemning its crackdown on Hong Kong democracy activists, accusing European lawmakers of "serious interference" in the city's government.

Members of the European Parliament on Thursday approved the resolution calling for "targeted sanctions" against Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for the recent arrests of activists.

The lawmakers also said they "regret" the handling of a landmark investment deal with China pending ratification by MEPs, and said talks about the deal should have been used "as a leverage tool aimed at preserving the high degree of Hong Kong's autonomy, as well as its fundamental rights and freedoms. "

But Beijing responded on Friday, urging EU lawmakers to "face the reality that Hong Kong has returned to China."

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the resolution showed that some MEPs had "confused good and evil" and engaged in "great interference in China's Hong Kong affairs."

The European Parliament should "stop any form of meddling," Hua told a regular news conference.

Following huge and often violent pro-democracy protests in 2019, Beijing last year imposed a draconian national security law in Hong Kong that effectively criminalized much dissent in a city that allegedly guaranteed key freedoms and autonomy.

It also broke down the legal firewall between the two territories, giving China jurisdiction over major national security cases and allowing its security agents to operate openly in the city for the first time.

Nearly 100 people have been arrested since the law entered and could face life in prison if convicted.

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