July 24, 2020 / 4:37 PM / 20 days ago

EU to limit exports to Hong Kong after Chinese clampdown

BRUSSELS, July 24 (Reuters) - The European Union will limit its exports to Hong Kong of technologies that could be used for repression or mass surveillance, an EU draft document seen by Reuters said.

Expressing “grave concern” for a sweeping national security law imposed by China on the former British colony of Hong Kong, the 27 EU states agreed on Friday to a series of sanctions, including trade curbs and a review of visa agreements with the territory.

The document, backed by EU ambassadors, says the bloc will be “further scrutinising and limiting exports of specific sensitive equipment and technologies for end-use in Hong Kong, in particular where there are grounds to suspect undesirable use relating to internal repression, the interception of internal communications or cybersurveillance”.

The document seen by Reuters is expected to enter into force on Tuesday. Hong Kong was guaranteed wide-ranging autonomy when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, writing by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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