Sweden declared on Monday that it supported France and Germany’s efforts to try and instil a robust response to China’s new security law on Hong Kong, and in doing so, the three countries join Denmark and the Netherlands in trying to push the European Union to impose counter measures on China.
The European Union has publicly denounced the decision by China to pass national security legislation for Hong Kong, with the decision from Chinese officials continuing to spark debates around the world.
Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde stated before a meeting in person with her EU counterparts in Brussels that “There is a proposal of measures especially proposed by Germany and France that I will support because we need to react to what is happening in Hong Kong.”
Last month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned that there might be “very negative consequences” for China if it opts to impose restrictions on Hong Kong’s freedom that are not found in China.
EU officials did not go into details about the measures that could be put into place, with China being the EU’s second-largest trading partner.
Instead of formal sanctions, EU officials claimed that there will be export bans on equipment which could be used for torture by the police, such as spiked batons, as well as the EU allowing Hong Kong activists to seek long-term refugee status in the EU.
Apart from this, there is a proposal for Hong Kong students to have more support when studying in Europe.
Sweden is also seeking the release of Gui Minhai, a Swedish citizen that was sentence to 10 years in jail in February by China, accused of illegally providing intelligence overseas.
Gui is a bookseller that was based in Hong Kong, who sold books that were extremely critical of China’s political leadership, and was detained by Chinese police back in 2018, being seized whilst with Swedish diplomats on a train that was heading to Beijing.