The European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy adopted their annual reports to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on political and economic developments in the Hong Kong and in Macau, both special administratively autonomous regions within the People’s Republic of China.
Trade, economic and cultural relations between the European Union, Hong Kong, and Macau remain strong, according to a report by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The report indicated that the rule of law has generally prevailed and the judiciary of both regions continued to demonstrate its independence and adherence to due process despite pressure from elements of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing. Three noteworthy incidents relate to restrictions of the right to stand for election, the banning of a political party, and the refusal to renew the work visa of a foreign journalist.
The report for Macau specifies that in 2018, the “one country, two system” principle that has been in place since Macau came under Beijing’s authority in 1999 after 450 years as a Portuguese colony has, in general, continued to work.
Political opposition, however, is limited in Macau and civil society remains under threat from the Chinese authorities. The EU has encouraged the local administration in Macau to provide for greater public involvement in the election of the SAR’s Chief Executive and the Legislative Assembly.
The reports emphasise the EU’s adherence to its “one China” policy and support for the ‘one country, two systems’ principle for Hong Kong and in Macao.