In response to the mass arrests of pro-democracy activists and politicians in Hong Kong, British politicians called on the European Union to abandon the investment pact it struck with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including Brexit leader Nigel Farage who said that “Brussels’ greed is helping the regime to take over the world.”
On Wednesday, 1,000 Hong Kong Police officers carried out raids across the city, arresting 53 activists and politicians for alleged ‘subversive behaviour’, which was criminalised by the Beijing-backed national security law in the former British colony last year.
In what has been characterised by the Hong Kong Free Press as the “largest national security round-up” since the introduction of the authoritarian legislation in June, activists and politicians were targeted for participating in the primary elections for the Legislative Council last July.
Brexit leader Nigel Farage condemned the police action as “another shocking crackdown on democratic opposition in Hong Kong”.
Mr Farage noted that it came shortly after the European Union and the CCP agreed on a massive trade deal, saying: “Brussels greed is helping the regime to take over the world.”
The last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, called on the EU to abandon the investment pact with the Chinese regime following the raids.
“If this deal goes ahead it will make a mockery of Europe’s ambitions to be taken seriously as a global political and economic player. It spits in the face of human rights and shows a delusional view of the Chinese Communist party’s trustworthiness on the international stage,” Lord Patten said.
“It is surely inconceivable that the European parliament can support the miserable draft deal that the European Commission wants to sign with Beijing,” he added.
“It is worth remembering, for all European politicians wherever they come from, that the Jewish community around the world has been outspoken about Xinjiang and in particular has drawn attention to the similarities between what is happening in that region today and the Holocaust in the 1940s,” the former Hong Kong governor concluded.
‘Setback for the Free World’: EU Trade Deal with Communist China Draws Harsh Criticism https://t.co/CktU0dsAnG
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 5, 2021
The EU has called for the immediate release of the activists; however, it made no mention of the investment pact between the bloc and the communist regime.
“We are currently analysing the situation to see how we might need to react. There are other possibilities open to us, sanctions for example,” European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said on Wednesday.
The €120 billion deal, which still needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the governments of the bloc’s member states, makes no mention of human rights, Hong Kong, or Xinjiang, where it is believed that as many as three million Uyghurs are incarcerated in concentration camps.
The EU Commission hailed the deal for the so-called ‘concessions’ from the CCP. But in critical areas such as forced labour, the dictatorship in Beijing has merely committed to “work towards” implementing international labour standards.
Merkel Makes Clear That Germany Will Not Help U.S. in China Trade Fight https://t.co/mD8I0wy1gu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 17, 2020
The Conservative Party chairman of the UK’s foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat, said that “the EU’s China deal undermines freedom and democracy”.
The founder and chairman of Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers, said: “Coming just a week after EU leaders rewarded China with an investment treaty, it is clear once again that Xi Jinping not only has contempt for democracy but no interest in upholding China’s treaty obligations under international law.”
“Statements of condemnation from the UK Government and like-minded democracies will no longer cut it. Now is the time for coordinated action,” Rogers added.
The Conservative Party’s former leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, seconded the call, demanding that the United Kingdom implement Magnitsky sanctions on Hong Kong officials, starting with Cheif Executive Carrie Lam.
22 Years Later: How The Chinese Communist Party Destroyed Legacy of the Hong Kong Handover https://t.co/9Jw3I9P5Sk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 1, 2020
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka