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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on China, notably the situation of religious and ethnic minorities

16.4.2019 - (2019/2690(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Helmut Scholz, Marie‑Christine Vergiat, Barbara Spinelli, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Tania González Peñas, Xabier Benito Ziluaga, Stefan Eck, Luke Ming Flanaganon behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedura : 2019/2690(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
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European Parliament resolution on China, notably the situation of religious and ethnic minorities


The European Parliament,

-having regard to the EU-China Strategic Partnership which was launched in 2003 and to the joint communication of 22 June 2016 from the Commission and the EEAS to Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Elements for a new EU strategy on China’ (JOIN(2016)0030),


-having regard to the Joint Communication to the European Parliament,, the European Council and the Council of 12/03/2019 “EU-China – A strategic outlook”


-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,


-having regard to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998,


-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 16 December 1966,


-having regard to the EU-China Summit Joint statement of 9 April 2019 and the Human Rights Dialogue of 1-2 April 2019;


-having regard to OHCHR Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reviews the report of China of 13 August 2018,


-having regard to UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Concluding observations on the combined fourteenth to seventeenth periodic reports of China (including Hong Kong, China and Macao, China) of 30 August 2018,



-having regard to Article 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, which guarantees all citizens the right to freedom of religious belief and to Article 4 that upholds the rights of ‘minority nationalities’,


-having regard to Article 249 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China that criminalizes incitement to discrimination on the basis of nationality,


-having regard to OHCHR Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reviews the report of China of 13 August 2018,


-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,



A. whereas the human rights situation in China has continued to deteriorate; whereas several civil society activists and human rights defenders are being detained, prosecuted and sentenced on the basis of vague charges such as ‘subverting state power’ and ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’; whereas in China freedom of speech and information is by far only formally guaranteed and follows a Chinese state definition and has explicitly to be carried out in full accordance to the constitutional and legal rules adopted by the NPC and governmental as well as juridical system bodies; whereas a high number of journalists, bloggers and independent voices have been imprisoned;


B. whereas the Chinese government passed a set of new laws that cast public activism and peaceful criticism of the government as state security threats, strengthen censorship, surveillance and control of individuals and social groups and deter individuals from campaigning for human rights with regard, in particular, to the State Security Law, the Counterterrorism Law, the Cybersecurity Law, and the Foreign NGO Management Law



C. whereas in 2014, the State Council of China announced detailed plans to create a Social Credit System with the aim of rewarding behavior that the Party considers financially, economically and socio-politically responsible, while sanctioning non-compliance with its policies which is now implemented; whereas control and the compulsory mass collection of citizens’ data also targets and affects Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities;


D. whereas continued reports suggest that human rights situation in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous and Tibet Region is deteriorating, with allegations coming from multiple sources, including activist groups such as Human Rights Watch, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Amnesty International and UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination;


E. whereas after repeatedly denying the arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and Kazakhs in internment camps the Chinese government admitted running “vocational education centers”, where individuals receive “professional training”,


F. whereas, the Chinese government has refused numerous requests from the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN Special Procedures mandates to send independent investigators to Xinjiang; whereas UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet recently again requested UN access to China to check on reports of disappearances and arbitrary detentions, particularly in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region;


G. whereas the EU reaffirmed its one-China policy at the Recent EU-China summit;


H. whereas the EU and China reaffirmed that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, whereas they agreed to continue the Human rights dialogues and to cooperate in the UN fora;



I. whereas in the Joint EU-Summit statement the EU and China committed to uphold the UN Charter and international law, and all the three pillars of the UN system, namely peace and security, development and human rights, but lacks further concretisation of the commitment’s implementation in all fields of home and social policies;


1.Calls on the EU and its Member States to ensure that EU-China cooperation is grounded in the universality of human rights, the international human rights commitments undertaken by both sides and the commitment to progress towards the achievement of the highest standard of political and social human rights protection;


2.Notes with concern the lack of progress in the EU-China human rights dialogue and that human rights issues do not play a more prominent role in the overall development of the the EU-China relations; underlines in this context the growing importance of EU-China relations in a changing world, including in the area of human rights and democratic freedoms;


3.Underlines China's responsibilities as global power and calls on the Beijing authorities to ensure in all circumstances respect for international law, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the UN Charter and Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international instruments signed or ratified by China;


4.Calls on the Chinese Government to respect its constitutional and legal human rights and democratic freedoms rules and standards in particular with regard to Article 4, which protects national minorities; Article 35, which protects the freedoms of speech, the press, assembly, association, procession and demonstration; Article 36, which recognizes the right to freedom of religious belief; and Article 41, which guarantees the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding any state organ or functionary;


5.Calls on China to grant access to all parts of the country, in particular Uyghur, other Turkic Muslim and Tibetan areas, by independent international human rights experts, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant UN Special Rapporteurs;


6.Urges China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to ensure its full implementation, including adapting its legislation as necessary; calls on China to end the abuse of national security legislation as a means of criminalizing the work of human rights defenders, freedoms of expression, association, religion or belief and to clearly differentiate between peaceful dissent and violent extremism;


7.Criticises growing practices by a number of states, with various different political order, to organize compulsory mass collection of citizens’ data resulting in state control over social and political life of their societies; notes that Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities in China are also concerned;


8.Calls on the EU and China to start cooperation to establish and guarantee common data protection rules based on the EU Basic data protection regulation with a view to guarantee to citizens the right on privacy and to contribute to reduce mutual distrust;


9.Welcomes the fact that as result of the 2019 EU-China Summit both partners confirmed their strategic partnership and demonstrated their political will to discuss and find solutions in areas where the partners have different views and approaches;



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



Ultimo aggiornamento: 15 aprile 2019
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