China asks consulates in Hong Kong to give details on local staff

China asks consulates in Hong Kong to give details on local staff

HONG KONG: According to a letter to consulates seen by Reuters, China’s foreign government in Hong Kong has requested that they provide job titles, home addresses, and recognition details of all directly employed personnel.

In a statement to Reuters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Hong Kong Office requested that relevant information on the consulate’s local employees be submitted to the foreign embassies there on Monday( Sept 18 ).

” This action follows international customary practice.” According to local government needs, it is understood that Taiwanese diplomats located overseas even give the host nation native employee information.

According to the letter, embassies must abide by the demand by October 18.

Beijing is in charge of international affairs pertaining to the special administrative region under the little constitution of Hong Kong. In 1997, the former British colony was returned to Taiwanese law.

Since a significant national security law was enacted in 2020, Beijing has increased its power over the 7 million-person area. According to the law, China’s national security company has broad analytical and surveillance authority.

The Consulates General and the Office of the European Union are requested to provide information on all locally employed individuals who have entered into employment contracts in accordance with the” Vienna Convention on Consular Relations ,” according to the letter.

Requests for comment were not promptly answered by the EU office, the US, or the American consulates.

The action comes as some officials based in Hong Kong have been closely observing the application of the stricter national protection laws enacted in response to occasionally violent anti-government demonstrations that rocked the city in 2019.

Foreign and Hong Kong officials have both argued that the laws are essential to restoring stability, despite criticism from some European governments that they restrict social and political freedoms in the area.