Procedure : 2020/2665(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0173/2020

Texts tabled :

B9-0173/2020

Debates :

PV 18/06/2020 - 3
CRE 18/06/2020 - 3

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2020)0174

<Date>{10/06/2020}10.6.2020</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0173/2020</NoDocSe>
PDF 148kWORD 50k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Titre>on the PRC national security law for Hong Kong and the need for the EU to defend Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy</Titre>

<DocRef>(2020/2665(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Reinhard Bütikofer, Anna Cavazzini, Henrike Hahn, Alexandra Geese, Hannah Neumann, Francisco Guerreiro, Niklas Nienaß, Diana Riba i Giner, Alviina Alametsä, Grace O’Sullivan</Depute>

<Commission>{Verts/ALE}on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0169/2020

B9‑0173/2020

European Parliament resolution on the PRC national security law for Hong Kong and the need for the EU to defend Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy

(2020/2665(RSP))

The European Parliament,

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

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

 having regard to the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong of 19 December 1984, also known as the Sino-British Joint Declaration,

 having regard to the Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Hong Kong adopted on 4 April 1990, which entered into force on 1 July 1997,

 having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 22 June 2016 on elements for a new EU strategy on China (JOIN(2016)0030), and the Council conclusions of 18 July 2016 on the EU Strategy on China,

 having regard to the joint reports of the Commission and the VP/HR of 8 May 2019 on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Annual Report 2018 (JOIN(2019)0008), of 24 April 2018 on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Annual Report 2017 (JOIN(2018)0007), of 26 April 2017 on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Annual Report 2016 (JOIN(2017)0016), and of 25 April 2016 on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Annual Report 2015 (JOIN(2016)0010),

 having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the VP/HR of 12 March 2019 entitled ‘EU-China – A strategic outlook’(JOIN(2019)0005),

 having regard to the joint statement of the 21st EU-China summit of 9 April 2019,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on China, in particular those of 19 December 2019[1], 12 September 2018[2] and of 16 December 2015[3] on EU-China relations,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Hong Kong, in particular those of 18 July 2019 on the situation in Hong Kong[4], 24 November 2016 on the case of Gui Minhai, jailed publisher in China[5], of 4 February 2016 on the case of the missing book publishers in Hong Kong[6], and to its previous recommendations, in particular the one of 13 December 2017 on Hong Kong, 20 years after handover[7],

 having regard to the adoption of the new security law by the Chinese National People’s Congress on 28 May 2020,

 having regard to the statement by the VP/HR of 29 May 2020 on the latest developments in Hong Kong,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the EU advocates the promotion of and respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law as core values guiding our long-standing relationship with the People’s Republic of China, in line with the EU’s commitment to uphold these values in its external action;

B. whereas the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration guarantees that Hong Kong will maintain a high-level of autonomy for 50 years following the handover of sovereignty; whereas this is also stipulated in the 1990 Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR);

C. whereas sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on 1 July 1997;

D. whereas even after 1 July 1997, existing agreements on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and international human rights have continued to apply to Hong Kong; whereas the PRC has also signed and ratified international agreements guaranteeing these rights and has thus acknowledged the significance and universality of human rights; whereas Hong Kong is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

E. whereas the Basic Law lays down provisions guaranteeing protection for human rights and individual freedoms; whereas Article 27 of the Basic Law guarantees freedom of speech, of the press and publication, and of association, assembly, procession and demonstration; whereas Articles 45 and 68 of the Basic Law stipulate that the Chief Executive and all members of the Legislative Council should ultimately be elected by universal suffrage;

F. whereas Hong Kong’s traditional open society has paved the way for the development of a genuine and independent civil society that actively and constructively takes part in the public life of the HKSAR;

G. whereas in particular since the Occupy protest, the ‘One Country, Two System’ principle is being eroded through the interference of Chinese authorities, political leaders have been imprisoned, free speech has been eroded, enforced disappearances have increased, and bookshops and media outlets have been bought by owners friendly to Beijing;

H. whereas the PRC State Council issued a white paper on the practice of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy in Hong Kong on 10 June 2014, stressing that the autonomy of the HKSAR is ultimately subject to central PRC Government authorisation; whereas the Chinese Government has encouraged the HKSAR Government to adopt a new zero-tolerance policy towards any mention of the ‘self-determination’ or ‘independence’ on grounds of national security and in contravention of the Basic Law;

I. whereas in February 2019, the HKSAR administration proposed the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance against massive opposition from Hong Kong citizens including judges, lawyers, opposition politicians, rights activists, business groups and journalists expressed in multiple ways since March 2019;

J. whereas, after 20 weeks of protest, the HKSAR administration eventually announced the formal withdrawal of the bill on 23 October 2019;

K. whereas the pan-democracy camp won an overwhelming victory in the Hong Kong District Elections of 24 November 2019;

L. whereas the PRC Central Government has reacted to Hong Kong citizen protests by continuously stepping up efforts to undermine, invalidate and overturn Basic Law provisions;

M. whereas the suppression of civic and human rights in mainland China, and in particular the oppression of the Uyghur minority in the PRC, has resulted in increasing concerns internationally, as well as in Hong Kong, concerning the need to effectively defend Hong Kong’s freedoms against illegal interference from the Central Government;

N. whereas the PRC’s denial of its binding obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration have put in doubt the PRC’s reliability and trustworthiness in implementing international law;

O. whereas the decision by the National People’s Congress on imposing national security legislation on Hong Kong ignores the provisions of the Basic Law;

P. whereas Hong Kong police have enjoyed impunity for all its brutality committed against demonstrators in 2019 and 2020;

1. Strongly criticises the adoption of the national security law on Hong Kong by the National Peoples’ Congress as a violation of China’s obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and of the Hong Kong Basic Law, effectively removing the high-level of autonomy that Hong Kong had been promised, and abandoning the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’;

2. Expresses its continuous support to the democracy movement in Hong Kong and calls on the HKSAR administration to drop all charges against peaceful protesters and to abandon all repressive measures against Hong Kong citizens exercising their freedom of expression, including, among others, Martin Lee, Margaret Ng, Lee Cheuk-yan, Benny Tai, Jimmy Lai, Albert Ho and Leung Kwok-hung;

3. Expresses its concern over the abrogation of journalists’ rights and unprecedented pressure against free media reporting in Hong Kong;

4. Expresses growing concern over the heightened risk of the entry into force of the national security law for tens of thousands of EU citizens in Hong Kong;

5. Insists that the PRC Central Government return to respecting the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law and to fully implementing the Hong Kong Basic Law, including by finally implementing universal suffrage;

6. Calls for the EU and its Member States to consider filing a case before the International Court of Justice asserting that China’s decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the ICCPR;

7. Warns that the violation of Hong Kong’s high level of autonomy and its freedoms will undermine the international community’s willingness to trust China as a partner and will also put in doubt Hong Kong’s future role as a relevant global financial centre;

8. Observes that the PRC’s policy of transforming the erstwhile ‘One Country, Two Systems’ approach into a ‘Two Entities, One Master’ approach has greatly alienated the people of Taiwan and emphasises its willingness to cooperate with appropriate partners in order to help strengthening democracy in Taiwan;

9. Urges the Commission, the VP/HR and the Member States to actively push for the appointment of a UN Special Envoy on the situation in Hong Kong by the UN Secretary-General or the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, thus joining the initiative by the chairs of the UK, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand foreign affairs committees;

10. Urges the Member States that are members of the UN Security Council to convene an ‘Arria meeting’ to discuss the situation in Hong Kong with activists, NGO representatives and UN Special Rapporteurs;

11. Calls for the EU to support the formation of an international Contact Group on Hong Kong to monitor the situation on the ground and coordinate action with international partners, in particular with the United Kingdom;

12. Calls on the Council, and in particular on the incoming Council Presidency, to finalise in 2020 the work on an EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Mechanism as supported by Parliament in its resolution of 14 March 2019[8];

13. Calls for the EU, its Member States and the international community to work towards the imposition of appropriate export control mechanisms to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies used to violate basic rights;

14. Calls on the Member States to carefully consider how to avoid economic, and in particular technological, dependency on the PRC, including in their decisions on developing their 5G networks;

15. Calls on the Member States to fully apply the relevant EU human rights guidelines, mobilising all diplomatic personnel to resolutely respond to arrests and convictions of activists, including by ensuring trial observation, requesting prison visits and reaching out to relevant authorities to urge the release of those detained and convicted for the peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression;

16. Urges the VP/HR and the Member States’ delegations to monitor closely and report regularly on the run-up to the Legislative Council (LegCo) elections currently scheduled for September, taking particular note of whether candidates are unjustly barred from running either through procedural obstacles or baseless legal proceedings, taking note also of whether all have access to assemble for campaign purposes, and whether voters are able to cast their votes freely;

17. Calls on the PRC Central Government to desist from blackmailing European businesses into supporting the national security law;

18. Calls on the PRC authorities to refrain from labelling international support for Hong Kong’s autonomy and Hong Kong’s freedoms as a so-called ‘interference in internal affairs’ as these concerns address binding international obligations of the PRC;

19. Repeats its call for the immediate release of book publisher Gui Minhai, a Swedish national;

20. Calls on the Member States also to create an effective life-boat mechanism for those defenders of Hong Kong’s freedoms that might find themselves subject to persecution and in need of protection through political asylum;

21. Insists that the situation in Hong Kong and the EU’s position in defending Hong Kong’s high level of autonomy must be addressed at the EU-China summit in June 2020 and eventually also at the EU-China Leaders Meeting originally scheduled for September in Leipzig;

22. Recalls the importance of the EU continuing to raise the issue of human rights violations in China at 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; further recalls that the PRC has signed up to a wide range of international human rights treaties; calls for the EU, therefore, to pursue dialogue with China in order to ensure that it lives up to these commitments;

23. Instructs the Commission to inform the Chinese side that Parliament will 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;

24. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and, for information, to the Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

[1] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2019)0110.

[2] OJ C 433, 23.12.2019, p. 103.

[3] OJ C 399, 24.11.2017, p. 92.

[4] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2019)0004.

[5] OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 78.

[6] OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 46.

[7] OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 156.

[8] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0215.

Last updated: 15 June 2020Legal notice - Privacy policy