Q: What is your response to the arrest of some 50 opposition figures in Hong Kong?
A: The arrest, on the basis of the national security law, of more than 50 Hong Kong opposition figures on subversion charges for their participation in the primary held by the pro-democracy camp last July marks a disturbing new step in the ongoing deterioration of the situation in Hong Kong since the adoption of that law.
This development follows mounting pressure on the press and pro-democracy opposition in recent months, calling into question the possibility of democratic expression guaranteed by the Basic Law of Hong Kong.
Consultations are under way with our European partners on this issue. France and its European partners demonstrated their solidarity with the people of Hong Kong by adopting a package of measures last June that included actions on visas and travel, heightened vigilance with regard to the export of sensitive equipment to Hong Kong, support for civil society, and the activation of scholarship programs and university exchanges. Developments in the situation are being taken into account in the implementation of these measures. France reiterates its commitment to Hong Kong’s autonomy and the independence of its judiciary, the rule of law and the fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Basic Law of Hong Kong and the “one country two systems” policy.