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<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>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Idoia Villanueva Ruiz</Depute>

<Commission>{GUE/NGL}on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group</Commission>



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


The European Parliament,

 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 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCR) 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 EU’s ‘One China’ policy,

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

 having regard to the 37th EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, held in Brussels on 1 and 2 April 2019,

 having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 12 March 2019 entitled ‘EU-China – A strategic outlook’ (JOIN(2019)0005),

 having regard to the Declaration of the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on Hong Kong of 28 May 2020,

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

A. whereas sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on 1 July 1997, ending decades of British colonialism on this Chinese territory; whereas the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration guaranteed, and the 1990 Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) stipulates, that Hong Kong will maintain the autonomy and independence of the executive, legislature and judiciary for 50 years following the handover of sovereignty; whereas Section 3(2) of the 1984 Sino-British Declaration places security and defence policy under control of the Government of the People’s Republic of China;

B. whereas the third session of the thirteenth National People’s Congress authorised the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to promulgate a national security law in Hong Kong; whereas this decision was formally taken in accordance with Article 18 of the Basic Law;

C. whereas new security laws in many countries have laid the foundations for violation of democratic and civil rights all over the world;

D. whereas over the years, the people of Hong Kong have witnessed mass demonstrations, in favour of democracy, human and democratic rights, as stipulated in the Basic Law; whereas 15 leading activists were arrested in April 2020 and have been charged on various counts;

E. whereas US President Trump has been steadily escalating confrontation with China playing out over trade, telecommunications, the media, student visas, the South China Sea and the coronavirus; whereas this escalation of tensions by the United States has very problematic consequences for peace and security, the rule based international world order, international trade and social security worldwide; whereas the US Administration has unilaterally pulled apart the foundation of multilateralism;

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

G. whereas in the Joint EU-China 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;

H. whereas the European Union, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law, must respect sovereign states and contribute to rebuilding the foundations of multilateralism, which is constantly under attack by the United States; whereas the People’s Republic of China is a strategic partner for rebuilding the law based system of international relations which has its basis on peace, sovereignty, cooperation and social progress;

I. whereas multinational companies and among them European companies are using Hong Kong as a turntable for their profits with regard to the very low level of taxation and high level of ‘fiscal optimisation’ for residents and companies; whereas in 2017-18, Hong Kong was placed on the watchlist and was required to meet relevant EU criteria with a 2018 deadline –  to avoid getting blacklisted for non-compliance; whereas on 12 March 2019, the European Commission removed Hong Kong from the European Union’s watchlist on non-cooperative tax jurisdictions;

1. Reiterates that any security legislation must not interfere with the independence and exclusive jurisdiction of the judiciary authorities and should not undermine obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), nor should it undermine freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom to vote, media freedoms, freedom of association and assembly, freedom of demonstration, freedom to form trade unions and to strike, and freedom of academic research and cultural, linguistic and artistic expression, and should not be misused to target human rights activists, harass the media and government critics;

2. Recognizes that both the EU’s ‘One China’ policy and the respect of the basic international agreements on Hong Kong as well as the United Nations Charter and international law are cornerstones of the EU-China relations;

3. Underlines that Hong Kong is part of the People’s Republic of China, with Special Administrative Region (SAR) status and under the ‘One Country, Two System’ rule with a unique Basic Law constitution, one which should not be subjected to foreign interference;

4. Calls on the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to deepen the proactive dialogue with the people of Hong Kong, via the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, in relation to the long-term development of the region and in particular the process of revising and drafting the new security laws, and to take into consideration their concerns; encourages local Hong Kong communities to engage more closely with their mainland equivalents, through cultural understanding, linguistic exchanges instead of resorting to xenophobia, racism and prejudice;

5. Recognizes that whilst a Security Law is necessary in Hong Kong SAR, as stipulated in Article 23 of the Basic Law, acknowledges the challenges in introducing the law at such a sensitive time; notes that some anti-government protesters have already been charged in HKSAR for ‘sedition’ and ‘incitement to incite’ under existing laws in HKSAR, indicating that a new, overarching and controversial Security Law may not be necessary;

6. Calls on China’s legislators and authorities to continue to ensure that Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy as guaranteed in the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration;

7. Underlines that nobody should be subjected to administrative or criminal sanctions for taking part in a peaceful protest; urges the HKSAR government to release those who have been held in prisons or police stations without charge, including minors;

8. Urges Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of HKSAR, to rebuild and improve trust by engaging in dialogue with opposition figures and activist communities;

9. Believes that the HKSAR government must put the interests of its people first instead of businesses, the financial sector, conglomerates and multinationals, with coherent policies to reverse the massive social inequality and rising poverty, as well as undertake huge public programmes to address the severe lack of social housing, poor healthcare and underfunded education systems - all of which have helped contribute to the instability and endless cycles of violence;

10. Condemns the British government’s intention to offer citizenship or residency exemptions to British Nationals (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong as further provocation from external powers, and an abuse of its colonial reach - 23 years after the handover;

11. Calls on Taiwan to refrain from interfering in the situation in Hong Kong in order to diffuse tension between China and Hong Kong, and to prevent the United States from using it as a pretext to complicate further the situation;

12. Condemns the unilateral decision by the President of the United States of America to end Hong Kong’s privileged status as an unnecessary, retaliatory measure that effectively changes Hong Kong’s special status as recognised in international law, and will not only adversely affect the territory’s economic and social standing, its people’s prosperity, but also the diplomatic relationship with China as a whole, and the possible effects this would have on the increasingly-volatile Asia-Pacific region;

13. Deplores President Trump’s intervention as undermining the long-standing ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, and the potential consequences his decision could have on Hong Kong;

14. Welcomes the fact that as a 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; calls for the next EU-China Summit should to reconfirm the strategic partnership, based on mutual cooperation, between the EU and China and calls for open discussion with a view to find solutions in the areas where the partners have different views and approaches; highlights the importance of a closer cooperation between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China in different sectors, and the need to have relations based on understanding and mutually beneficial agreements; recalls the importance of good relations with China in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which Chinese authorities have closely collaborated with different Member States showing solidarity;

15. Reaffirms that the activities of EU Member States operating in third countries must fully respect international human rights standards; calls on the Member States to ensure that companies under their national law remain bound to respect human rights and the social, health and environmental standards imposed on them if they establish or operate in a third country and are committed to respect their fiscal duties; regrets that the European Commission removed Hong Kong from the European Union’s watch list on non-cooperative tax jurisdictions; calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary measures against EU Member State companies that do not respect these standards or that do not satisfactorily compensate victims of human rights violations directly or indirectly;

16. 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, the Government and Parliament of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chief Executive and the Assembly of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


An nuashonrú is déanaí: 15 Meitheamh 2020Fógra dlíthiúil - Beartas príobháideachais