EU Foreign Ministry: We are monitoring the developments in Hong Kong closely

The Office of Chris Patten, the EU Commissioner for External Affairs, wrote to a Falun Gong practitioner in September. The letter stated: "Concerning the development in Hong Kong, our delegation is monitoring them closely". It also stated that the EU Commissioner for External Affairs raised the issue of China's persecuting people because of their beliefs with Premier Zhu Rongji during the EU-China Summit in September.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

"Thank you for your letter of 8 September to Commissioner Patten about Hong Kong, Falun Gong and human rights, which I have drawn to the Commissioner's attention.

As you know, in the EU-China human rights dialogue we regularly address questions of freedom of expression and association. In this context, we have paid particular attention to the situation of individuals who have been persecuted because of their beliefs or convictions. Most recently, Mr Patten raised this with Premier Zhu Rongji at the EU-China Summit.

Concerning the developments in Hong Kong, our delegation is monitoring them closely, including the appeal by the 16 Hong Kong [Falun Gong] practitioners."

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