The EU called on Wednesday for the release of the dozens of opposition figures arrested in Hong Kong and said it was eyeing possible further sanctions on China over its crackdown.
"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 told journalists.
Stano said any sanctions would have to be agreed unanimously by the EU's 27 member states, as happened in July last year when the bloc slapped sanctions on Beijing for its National Security Law, used to stamp out dissent in Hong Kong.
Police in Hong Kong arrested 53 people on charges of "subversion" in early morning raids. Those detained were opposition politicians and activists.
"We call for the immediate release of the arrested people," Stano said.
Britain on Wednesday rebuked China for the mass arrest, which it said was a grievous attack on the rights of the former colony.
"The mass arrest of politicians and activists in Hong Kong is a grievous attack on Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms as protected under the Joint Declaration," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.
"These arrests demonstrate that the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities deliberately misled the world about the true purpose of the National Security Law, which is being used to crush dissent and opposing political views." (AFP, Reuters)
EU, UK urge release of Hong Kong opposition figures
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