China slams 'criminal' EU response to Hong Kong clampdown

China's embassy in Paris criticises French and European reaction to protests in Hong Kong calling it 'hypocritical'.

    Hong Kong has been battered by 18 consecutive weekends of unrest, fanned by widespread public anger over Chinese rule and the police response to protests [File: Tyrone Siu/Reuters]
    Hong Kong has been battered by 18 consecutive weekends of unrest, fanned by widespread public anger over Chinese rule and the police response to protests [File: Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

    China's embassy in Paris has slammed the European Union for what it called its "criminal" support of Hong Kong protesters and its criticism of the police clampdown.

    Accusing the EU of having "publicly glorified the abuses of rioters", the embassy on Monday labelled the EU's call for de-escalation "criminal and very dangerous", affirming police's right to self-determination. 

    "We express our deep dissatisfaction and our profound contempt for the hypocrisy of the European statement and the darkness of the intentions of some vis-a-vis China," it said.

    The former British colony of Hong Kong has been rocked by months of anti-government protests.

    When asked on Thursday to react after Hong Kong police fired live rounds against demonstrators, France's foreign ministry referred to a statement from the European Union.

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    That statement called on authorities to show restraint, to employ a proportionate response to the protests, and to focus on political dialogue to defuse tensions.

    French officials have sought to keep official reaction under the radar in recent weeks to avoid worsening ties with China before President Emmanuel Macron embarks on a four-day visit there.

    The rare statement from the embassy sought to outline efforts by the authorities to resolve the crisis and described the October 1 protests - during which live rounds were used - as an attempt to destabilise the central government.

    "The European Union has publicly glorified the rioters' abuses and has flouted the Hong Kong police's self-defence measures to defend their lives against their aggressors," the embassy said.

    It said France should show solidarity given its police force also experienced violent protests and was under constant criticism and insults from a "malicious fringe" of people.

    "In these circumstances, we showed empathy for France. We would like it to show today the same spirit towards us," the Chinese embassy said.

    France's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    SOURCE: News agencies