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Procedure : 2017/2754(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

RC-B8-0459/2017

Debates :

PV 06/07/2017 - 8.1
CRE 06/07/2017 - 8.1

Votes :

PV 06/07/2017 - 11.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0308

Texts adopted
PDF 168k
Thursday, 6 July 2017 - Strasbourg Provisional edition
The cases of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and Lee Ming-che
P8_TA-PROV(2017)0308B8-0459, 0460, 0461, 0462 and 0463/2017

European Parliament resolution of 6 July 2017 on the cases of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and Lee Ming-che (2017/2754(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in China, in particular those of 21 January 2010 on human rights violations in China, notably the case of Liu Xiaobo(1) , of 14 March 2013 on EU-China relations(2) and of 12 March 2015 on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the European Union’s policy on the matter(3) ,

–  having regard to the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on the status of Liu Xiaobo of 30 June 2017,

–  having regard to the 35th round of the EU-China dialogue on human rights on 22-23 June 2017 in Brussels, and the statement of the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) on the occasion of the dialogue,

–  having regard to the EU-China Summit held in Brussels on 1-2 June 2017,

–  having regard to the EU statement at the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 14 March 2017,

–  having regard to the statement by the European External Action Service (EEAS) of 9 December 2016, on International Human Rights Day,

–  having regard to the EU-China Strategic Partnership launched in 2003, and to the European Commission and EEAS joint communication of 22 June 2016 to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Elements for a new EU Strategy on China’,

–  having regard to ‘Charter 08’, a manifesto drawn up by over 350 Chinese political activists, academics and human rights defenders calling for social, judicial and governmental reform, and released on 10 December 2008 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Liu Xiaobo, the prominent Chinese writer and human rights activist, has been formally detained in prison four times over the course of the last 30 years; whereas Liu Xiaobo was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for ‘inciting subversion of state power’ after he helped to write a manifesto known as ‘Charter 08’; whereas the formal procedures followed in Liu Xiaobo’s prosecution have not allowed for him to be represented or be present himself at formal proceedings, and diplomats from over a dozen states, including several Member States, were denied access to the court for the duration of the trial;

B.  whereas Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, although never charged with any offence, has been under house arrest since he was awarded the Peace Prize in 2010, and has, since then, been denied almost all human contact, except with close family and a few friends;

C.  whereas, on 8 October 2010, the Nobel Committee awarded Liu Xiaobo the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his ‘long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China’;

D.  whereas Liu Xiaobo has recently been transferred from a prison in China’s northeast Liaoning province to a hospital in the provincial capital Shenyang, where he is being treated for his serious health condition after having been diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer;

E.  whereas the Chinese authorities rejected requests by Liu Xiaobo and his wife to seek medical treatment outside China or to move him to his home in Beijing;

F.  whereas, on 29 June 2017, 154 Nobel Laureates issued a joint letter to the President of the People’s Republic of China urging the Chinese Government to allow Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia to travel abroad for medical treatment;

G.  whereas Lee Ming-che, the noted Taiwanese pro-democracy activist known for his human rights advocacy through social media, went missing on 19 March 2017 after crossing from Macau into Zhuhai in China’s Guangdong province; whereas China’s Taiwan Affairs Office confirmed at a news conference that the ‘relevant authorities’ had detained Lee and placed him under investigation on suspicion of ‘engaging in activities that endanger national security’;

H.  whereas the Chinese authorities have offered no credible evidence for the grave allegations against Lee Ming-che; whereas Lee’s detainment comes at a juncture during which cross-straits relations are deteriorating; whereas Lee was active in providing information about the democratic political culture of Taiwan to his friends in China through online platforms susceptible to Chinese government monitoring;

I.  whereas China has progressed in the last few years in terms of realising economic and social rights, reflecting its priorities for the people’s right to subsistence, while, since 2013, the human rights situation in China has continued to deteriorate with the government stepping up its hostility toward peaceful dissent, the rule of law, freedom of expression and freedom of religion, as in the recent case of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who was forcibly removed from his diocese in Wenzhou on 18 May 2017;

J.  whereas the Chinese Government has passed new laws, in particular, the State Security Law, the Counterterrorism Law, the Cybersecurity Law, and the Foreign NGO Management Law, which have been utilised to persecute those engaging in public activism and peaceful criticism of the government as state security threats, as well as to strengthen censorship, the surveillance and control of individuals and social groups and to deter individuals from campaigning for human rights and the rule of law;

K.  whereas, last month, the Greek Government refused to endorse an EU statement criticising the crackdown on activists and dissidents in China that was due to be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 15 June 2017; whereas this was the first occasion on which the EU had failed to make such a statement before the UN’s top rights body;

L.  whereas the promotion of and respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law should remain at the centre of the long‑standing relationship between the EU and China, in line with the EU’s commitment to uphold these values in its external action and with China’s expressed interest in adhering to these very values in its own development and international cooperation;

1.  Calls on the Chinese Government to release, immediately and unconditionally, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia from house arrest and allow him to obtain medical treatment wherever they wish;

2.  Urges the Chinese authorities to allow Lui Xiaobo unrestricted access to family, friends, and legal counsel;

3.  Calls on the Chinese authorities to release Lee Ming-che immediately, as no credible evidence related to his case has been provided, to disclose information about his exact whereabouts, and to ensure, in the meantime, that Lee Ming-che is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and that he is allowed access to his family, a lawyer of his choice and adequate medical care;

4.  Remains highly concerned by the Chinese Government’s continued efforts to silence civil society actors, including human rights defenders, activists and lawyers;

5.  Recalls the importance of the EU raising the issue of human rights violations in China during every political and human rights dialogue with the Chinese authorities, in line with the EU’s commitment to project a strong, clear and unified voice in its approach to the country, including at the regular and more result‑oriented Human Rights Dialogues; recalls, further, that, in the context of its ongoing reform process and increasing global engagement, China has opted into the international human rights framework by signing up to a wide range of international human rights treaties; calls, therefore, for the dialogue with China to be pursued in order to live up to these commitments;

6.  Encourages China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

7.  Regrets the failure of the EU to make a statement on human rights in China at the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva in June 2017; calls on all EU Member States to adopt a firm, values-based approach towards China and expects them not to undertake unilateral initiatives or acts that might undermine the coherence, effectiveness and consistency of EU action;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Government and Parliament of the People’s Republic of China.

(1) OJ C 305 E, 11.11.2010, p. 9.
(2) OJ C 36, 29.1.2016, p. 126.
(3) OJ C 316, 30.8.2016, p. 141.

Last updated: 2 August 2017Legal notice