European Parliament votes overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution calling on China to abandon plans for a national security law for Hong Kong, setting the course for new EU-China policy

Friday, June 19, 2020 7:21 PM

A cross-party resolution was adopted today by the European Parliament, re-defining the future of EU-China relationships. It calls on China to withdraw plans to introduce a controversial national security law for Hong Kong, branded as “a comprehensive assault on the city’s autonomy, rule of law, and fundamental freedoms”; stresses the integrity of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and proposes a set of actions to defend Hongkongers in their fight for democracy, human rights, and rule of law in Hong Kong.

The resolution obtained the support of all the main political groups in the European Parliament, demonstrating unity in asking for the EU to adopt a new and more robust strategy to deal with a more assertive China and to finalise the adoption of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Mechanism that would target the perpetrators of human rights abuses in Hong Kong, a plan which was long in the making.

Parliamentarians also showed their concern with the impact that the current situation in the region may have on the planned upcoming Legislative Council elections, scheduled for 6th September 2020, issuing a call for fair and transparent elections.

A member of grassroots campaign group Stand with Hong Kong (SWHK), who wishes to remain anonymous for fear for their safety, said: “Fighting for freedom against the world’s largest totalitarian regime has been a struggle waged by Hongkongers for a long time. The imminent passing of the of the National Security Law would simply mean the death of democracy and prosperity in Hong Kong. The European Parliament has today given a clear signal of its determination to defend shown a real will to fight for the respect of human rights and the rule of law, which also means being more assertive with China at home, in Europe. We call on the EU and its Member States not to not stop here, but to continue standing with Hong Kong and implement the actions adopted in today’s resolution. Hongkongers count on the EU to stand by its founding values of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law and defend our future.”

The resolution, passed with a majority of 565 votes, also called for:

  • An independent, impartial, effective and prompt investigation into the use of force by Hong Kong police against protesters;
  • The creation of a UN Special Envoy or a Special Rapporteur for Hong Kong;
  • The establishment of an international contact group on Hong Kong and to coordinate action with international partners, in particular with the United Kingdom;
  • The People’s Republic of China (PRC) Central Government to refrain from labelling international support for Hong Kong’s autonomy and Hong Kong’s freedoms as ‘interference in internal affairs’ and acts of subversion and separation, as these concerns address binding international obligations of the PRC;
  • The EU to take the human rights situation in China, including in Hong Kong, into consideration when asked to endorse a comprehensive agreement on investment or future trade deals with the PRC.