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Debates
Monday, 16 September 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

18. Situation in Hong Kong (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Elnök asszony. – A következő pont a Bizottság alelnökének és az Unió külügyi és biztonságpolitikai főképviselőjének nyilatkozata a hongkongi helyzetről (2019/2808(RSP)).

Azonban mielőtt elkezdenénk a vitát, azt szeretném kérni, hogy most figyeljenek rám, mindenki tegye föl a fülhallgatót, aki nem tette meg, ugyanis az e heti plenárison egy új rendszert fogunk tesztelni. A „catch the eye”, azaz a spontán kérdéseket és a kékkártyás kérdéseket, azaz az azonnal feltett kérdéseket elektronikus úton szeretnénk, hogyha jeleznék. A rendszer használatára vonatkozó tájékoztatót e-mailben minden képviselő már megkapta, úgyhogy a felszólalásra irányuló kérelmüket használhatják elektronikus kártyájuk segítségével is. Éppen ezért az is lenne a kérésem, hogy ha fel akarnak szólalni, akár „catch the eye” spontán felszólalás, akár kékkártyás azonnali kérdésben, kérem, hozzák magukkal a szavazókártyájukat is.

Természetesen ez egy teszt üzemmód, ezért az átmeneti időben lehetőség lesz arra, hogy kézfeltartással, illetve a kártya feltartásával is jelezzék a hozzászólási igényüket, azonban nagyon szeretnénk, hogyha a hatékonyabb ülésezés kedvéért át tudnánk térni az elektronikus rendszerre. Köszönöm szépen! Úgyhogy először ezen vita során fogjuk tesztelni ezt az elektronikus rendszert, aki „catch the eye” vagy kékkártyával hozzá akar szólni, azt kérem, hogy ha nála van a szavazókártyája, akkor tegye meg.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Member of the Commission, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, let me make this initial presentation of the situation in Hong Kong on behalf of the High Representative, Federica Mogherini.

Over the past month, the people of Hong Kong have exercised the fundamental right to demonstrate peacefully for their autonomy and the rights of freedom of expression and assembly. Throughout the summer, we invited all sides to reject all kinds of violence and to de-escalate the situation. In this sense, the announced withdrawal of the extradition bill is a step in the right direction.

The people of Hong Kong have marched in unprecedented numbers and these massive demonstrations have shown their determination. It is reported that as many as 1.7 million people took to the streets on 18 August this year.

In recent weeks, as the situation has escalated, there have been scenes of major violence by triads, apparent attacks on bystanders, reports of excessive use of force by the security forces, petrol bombs and wanton vandalism. All such violence is unacceptable and it cannot be condoned.

Nevertheless, the protests have been predominantly peaceful and they continue to be widely supported by the population of Hong Kong. The EU has consistently supported the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. This principle, which is guaranteed in the Basic Law, is also an international commitment from China under the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, as ratified by the Chinese National People’s Congress.

It gives Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy and ensures respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of Hong Kong’s people. This principle is also crucial for business confidence in Hong Kong, a city which remains an important financial centre and a strategic port and transport hub.

The ‘one country, two systems’ principle is essential for Hong Kong to continue fully to play its strategic economic role. The European Union supports the preservation of the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Hong Kong and its high degree of autonomy. This is essential for the prosperity not only of Hong Kong but also of mainland China. Respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and the independence of the judiciary are also vital for the development of Hong Kong, and for the daily lives of its people, and should be upheld in line with the Basic Law and China’s international commitments.

On 18 July, the European Parliament discussed the situation in an emergency debate and you adopted the resolution. Meanwhile, the European External Action Service published three statements, and on 17 August the High Representative made the formal declaration, approved by all Member States, rejecting violence and calling for inclusive dialogue involving all key stakeholders.

The High Representative discussed the situation with several international partners over the summer and released a joint statement with the Foreign Minister of Canada.

Hong Kong was part of the EU Foreign Ministers’ informal discussion in Helsinki at the end of August. Since then, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced, on 4 September, that the extradition bill, which would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China, will be formally withdrawn. This welcome move from the authorities potentially opens up space to work towards a peaceful and enduring solution.

However, the situation remains tense. We witness with concern the rising violence in Hong Kong. We maintain our expectation that all sides should refrain from violence and seek solutions through genuine and constructive dialogue. For this to happen, it seems that, first, bold steps may be needed to restore trust.

Secondly, we see that business confidence and investment sentiment are also being affected. Hong Kong is a vital bridge between the EU’s economy and China’s. We have a common interest to see the situation evolve positively, including through broad-based dialogue with all key stakeholders to find a lasting and peaceful solution.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová, za skupinu PPE. – Paní předsedající, děkuji za udělení slova a také za zařazení tohoto bodu, protože jak řekla paní komisařka, situace v Hongkongu není jednoduchá a boje stále pokračují. Když jsem viděla reportáž z hongkongských demonstrací, ty tisíce lidí v ulicích pochodující za udržení svobody, připomínaly mi tyto obrázky události staré třicet let ve východní a střední Evropě. Až na to, že tenkrát se diktatura odstraňovala a nyní ze strany Číny vidíme, že je snaha některé prvky diktatury nastolovat.

Jako křesťanka jsem si musela všimnout také významné role křesťanské víry v motivaci demonstrantů-katolíků. Při střetu s policií ji demonstranti vyzývali, aby nepoužívala násilí a zpívali Aleluja našemu Pánu. Tito lidé si zaslouží naši podporu. Lidé, kteří se nebojí vystoupit a bojovat za svá lidská i politická práva. Demonstrují již několik měsíců a dostáhli stažení kontroverzního zákona. Odpor vůči navrhovanému zákonu by nebyl tak bouřlivý nebýt již zkušenosti z roku 2015, kdy čínská tajná policie unesla na pevninu pět redaktorů hongkongského knihkupectví, kteří se podíleli na vydávání knih o zákulisních intrikách v komunistickém vedení Čínské republiky. Zákon tedy byl stažen, ale rozhořčení trvá, a je dobře, že Evropská unie, Evropský parlament i touto diskusí vysílá jasný signál, že Čína musí počítat s tím, že lidská práva jsou podmínkou pro jakoukoliv další – i hospodářskou – spolupráci.

 
  
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  Maria Arena, au nom du groupe S&D. – Madame la Présidente, la contestation à Hong Kong ne tarit pas, et ce malgré le retrait par les autorités de Hong Kong du projet de loi autorisant l'extradition. Mais, doit-on le signaler, ce projet ne fait partie que d'une revendication par rapport aux cinq revendications portées par les activistes.

Ces millions de personnes qui manifestent dans les rues depuis trois mois maintenant comptent sur notre soutien, le soutien européen. Les libertés fondamentales, comme le droit de manifester ou encore l'indépendance de la justice, sont et doivent rester des garanties pour défendre un État, deux systèmes.

Les violences perpétrées par les autorités chinoises à l'encontre des manifestants à Hong Kong sont totalement disproportionnées. Le recours excessif à la force est une violation des normes internationales et des droits fondamentaux.

Mais nous ne pouvons rester juste à regarder. L'Union soutiendra toujours ceux qui défendent les droits de l'homme et l'état de droit par des moyens pacifiques. Or, il apparaît que certains États membres de l'Union ont vendu du matériel technologique qui a servi à la répression à l'encontre des manifestants, en particulier du matériel de surveillance et des gaz lacrymogènes.

Dans notre résolution de 2019, nous demandions à l'Union de mettre en place un mécanisme de contrôle des exportations vers la Chine pour éviter que les entreprises européennes et leurs technologies ne soient complices des violations des droits fondamentaux.

Deux mois plus tard, où en sommes-nous? Les dernières auditions que nous avons menées au Parlement européen nous ont montré des témoignages glaçants aujourd'hui d'activistes qui ne craignent plus pour leur liberté mais qui craignent pour leur vie. Quel est le message concret que nous pouvons leur donner?

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans, namens de Renew-Fractie. – Voorzitter, vijftien weken: zo lang al zijn de massabetogingen gaande in Hongkong. Met miljoenen zijn de demonstranten die vreedzaam op straat komen en die ijveren voor meer democratie, voor meer respect, voor de politieke rechten, zoals ook de collega's hier vandaag al hebben aangekondigd. En wat blijkt? Wat krijgen ze als antwoord? Rubberen kogels, repressie, traangas. Kortom: buitensporig politiegeweld. En dat naast intimidatie, repressie, censuur en arrestaties.

We mogen niet onverschillig blijven en hier hebben verschillende mensen het al gezegd: één land, twee systemen. Het is goed dat die wet is ingetrokken. Maar de demonstranten vragen meer. We moeten ervoor waken dat Hongkong niet afglijdt naar een ondemocratische weg. We moeten Beijing heel duidelijk zeggen dat interne aangelegenheden niet meer intern zijn wanneer de universele rechten van de mens worden geschonden. Vandaar, mevrouw de commissaris, twee heel concrete vragen: hoe gaat u de dialoog met China weer op gang brengen? Hoe gaat u hen duidelijk maken dat wij willen dat protesten vreedzaam kunnen doorgaan? Hoe gaat u hen vragen om eindelijk een onafhankelijk onderzoek te starten naar dat buitensporig politiegeweld? Demonstranten moeten vreedzaam kunnen protesteren en niet langer vrezen voor hun leven.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, two weeks ago I visited Hong Kong and I talked to actors from different walks of life. I came back even more convinced than before that this Parliament did the right thing when, before the summer, we declared that we stand with the people of Hong Kong.

The movement for democracy and freedom in Hong Kong is still going on, and it still deserves our continuing solidarity. ‘One country, two systems’ must not be undermined by intervention from Beijing or by imposing emergency regulations. It is not enough to withdraw the rendition bill. The people want more change. Primarily, they want an independent inquiry into the violence – in particular, police violence – and they want universal suffrage. Universal suffrage was promised to them 22 years ago in the Basic Law. The promise has not yet been kept.

Beijing must keep this promise. We, as Greens, support the fight for universal suffrage in Hong Kong. Democracy must win!

 
  
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  Jérôme Rivière, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, l’Union européenne, notre Parlement, se montrent particulièrement actifs pour veiller à faire respecter la démocratie en Chine.

C’est bien sûr une belle pratique que de veiller à faire respecter le choix des peuples et de dénoncer les manœuvres, les violences qui les bloquent. Y veiller en Chine c’est bien, partout en Europe, ce serait mieux.

Au Royaume-Uni, un Parlement usé vient s’opposer à une décision démocratique et souveraine des citoyens britanniques et tente de bloquer leur choix de quitter l’Union européenne. En Italie, une combinaison politique contre nature s’arc-boute pour empêcher un retour aux urnes pourtant souhaité par les Italiens. En France, un président autocrate, appuyé par un Parlement qui, mécaniquement, ne représente en rien le vote populaire, impose des textes qui jettent des Français, bien plus nombreux qu’à Hong Kong, dans la rue. Le projet de réforme des retraites en est le plus récent exemple.

Ne pas dénoncer ces pratiques, ces manœuvres, est indigne d’une assemblée parlementaire, de notre assemblée parlementaire. C’est en continuant sur ce chemin qui écarte partout les peuples d’Europe que meurt la démocratie.

 
  
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  Anna Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, we stand by the people of Hong Kong. This has been the continued attitude of the European Parliament since the protests started and since the violations against book-keepers.

The people of Hong Kong won their initial battle: the extradition law was withdrawn. Yet all parties should obey the Declaration of 1984 and, in particular, Beijing should refrain from attempts to launch provocations there. We continue to stand by the people of Hong Kong.

 
  
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  Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, en nombre del Grupo GUE/NGL. – Señora presidenta, es ya el decimoquinto fin de semana desde la gran manifestación del 9 de junio, que marcó el comienzo de la actual crisis en Hong Kong, y que estamos viendo cómo está terminando en diferentes escenarios de violencia. Ayer mismo presenciamos nuevas escenas de violencia, donde la policía recurrió al enjuiciamiento penal y a los cañones de agua contra los manifestantes.

Queremos ser muy claras. Hoy, aquí, reiteramos nuestro apoyo sin fisuras al derecho de manifestación como un derecho fundamental en todas las partes del mundo. Y, en este caso, en Hong Kong, como no puede ser de otra manera. Por lo tanto, pedimos que se investiguen también las actuaciones policiales y se ponga en libertad a los manifestantes pacíficos.

Los derechos fundamentales y los derechos humanos son universales e indivisibles. Por eso, hoy también queremos denunciar aquí la actuación de la Comisión y de este Parlamento Europeo cuando ve y denuncia la vulneración de derechos humanos en el exterior pero mira para otro lado cuando ocurre en nuestro propio territorio.

Los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea no tienen ningún problema con llegar a grandes acuerdos comerciales con China. Nosotros pensamos que es la hora de que la Unión Europea tenga un plan estratégico con China, actualizado, en la relación con este país.

Instamos, por tanto, al diálogo. Instamos a la Comisión, al Parlamento y a China a que garanticen los derechos de todas las personas, así como a que se establezca una postura europea adaptada a los retos geopolíticos del siglo XXI.

 
  
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  John David Edward Tennant (NI). – Madam President, we either believe in democracy and freedom, or we don’t. If we don’t, this debate is pointless. If we do, then it is a principle that goes beyond national boundaries. In fact it goes beyond European boundaries, it is universal.

Violence by the state against protesters is completely unacceptable. Violence by protesters should not get a free pass either. But the issue on its merits is so simple: who should decide who governs Hong Kong? Forget the Qing Dynasty and the 99-year lease, forget the 19th century politics still impacting the 21st – the answer must be that the people of Hong Kong should have the same right to self-determination as every human being deserves.

 
  
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  Isabel Santos (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, a luta daqueles que nos últimos meses se têm manifestado pacificamente nas ruas de Hong Kong é, neste momento, uma luta pela liberdade de expressão e de associação, pelos direitos cívicos e pela democracia.

A União Europeia não pode, por isso, ficar indiferente aos apelos que lhe são lançados no sentido de uma ação firme e determinada junto das autoridades locais e das autoridades chinesas, com vista a travar a escalada do uso da violência contra os manifestantes.

É preciso que a União Europeia utilize todos os instrumentos ao seu alcance de modo a que se evitem ocorrências trágicas e que se faça entender às autoridades chinesas que o caminho não é o da repressão das vozes dissidentes e do uso desproporcionado da força, mas sim o diálogo com vista à solução pacífica do conflito.

Devemos aqui saudar os apelos feitos pelos dirigentes dos diversos movimentos para que as manifestações se mantenham pacíficas e dizer ao governo chinês que não basta limitar-se às declarações de intenções e que é necessário dar passos decisivos no sentido do respeito dos direitos humanos, do Estado de direito e da liberdade de expressão e de associação.

 
  
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  Bernard Guetta (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, chers collègues, c’est le courage, la détermination et l’éternel combat pour la liberté qui viennent de marquer un très grand point à Hong Kong. Non seulement les autorités chinoises n’ont pas osé répéter là-bas l’abomination de la place Tiananmen, mais les autorités locales, avec l’assentiment de Pékin, bien sûr, ont annulé leur décret sur l’extradition vers la Chine.

Nous devons applaudir les manifestants de Hong Kong et nous réjouir de cette victoire, car tout recul d’un gouvernement ignorant des droits de l’homme profite de par le monde entier à la liberté de tous.

Notre satisfaction n’est cependant pas suffisante. Nous devons soutenir le combat pour la liberté de la Chine qui est et restera, en tout état de cause, l’un de nos principaux partenaires économiques et l’une des grandes puissances de ce siècle. Nous le devons par obligation morale, mais nous le devons aussi parce que nous le pouvons.

Nous le pouvons, car dans leur bras de fer avec M. Trump, les autorités chinoises ne peuvent pas se permettre de s’aliéner l’Europe dont elles ont besoin. Nous le pouvons, nous, parlementaires européens, parce que notre assemblée est la seule institution au monde qui soit assez forte, indépendante et unie dans sa défense des droits de l’homme pour pouvoir faire face à un régime qui est devenu la plus grande, la plus moderne et la plus sophistiquée des dictatures.

Nous le pouvons, enfin, car nous aurons bientôt la possibilité de le manifester en attribuant, je l’espère et vous y appelle tous, de tous les groupes politiques, en attribuant donc le prix Sakharov à un opposant chinois en la personne de M. Ilham Tohti, défenseur emprisonné du peuple ouïghour, dont il est à la fois l’enfant et l’une des grandes figures.

 
  
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  Catherine Rowett (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, in its old objectionable imperial days my country thought of itself as the mother of the free, but whose freedom did that empire guarantee, and where has it gone now? Yesterday, protesters holding Union Jacks demonstrated at the British Consulate in Hong Kong, and rightly so, for Britain surely retains a duty to defend their freedoms accorded in the Joint Declaration of 1984.

The recent response from the UK ambassador for human rights seems too sanguine, for the withdrawal of the infamous extradition bill can’t in itself resolve the concerns. If Britain itself will not challenge China’s oppressive response, let us in this European Union step up. Let us be the ones defending human rights without borders and securing universal suffrage for Hong Kong. Let us become truly the mother of the free, and not by building an empire, but by challenging imperial interference.

 
  
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  Anna Bonfrisco (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, i trattati dell'Unione europea ci uniscono tutti nel principio inviolabile della democrazia e dello Stato di diritto.

Registriamo, al contrario, come la Cina tenti invece in ogni sede, comprese le Nazioni Unite, di sminuire i diritti individuali delle persone, anteponendo il primato dello Stato su ogni tipo di libertà individuale, col pretesto della difesa della sovranità nazionale.

Affermare, come ha fatto Carrie Lam, che i suoi concittadini siano una piccola minoranza di violenti, senza appoggio sociale, senza interessi economici, portatori di caos e di minacce, peggio della SARS o delle crisi finanziarie, è falso e profondamente antidemocratico. Le azioni della polizia e delle autorità di Hong Kong da lei guidate sotto lo stretto controllo delle autorità cinesi sono a dir poco inumane.

A tutto ciò noi dovremmo rispondere senza timidezze, con una ferma dichiarazione politica dell'UE, che riconosca la specialità dello status di Hong Kong e guidi il perimetro delle nostre future relazioni con la Cina, nel nome del rispetto dei diritti dell'uomo.

 
  
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  Mislav Kolakušić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, imam želju da u ovom Parlamentu raspravljamo o vladavini prava i demokraciji u trećim zemljama. Međutim, pozivam vas sve da razmislimo o vladavini prava koja ne postoji u Republici Hrvatskoj. U Republici Hrvatskoj 94 % građana u ispitivanju javnog mnijenja smatra da Hrvatskom vlada korupcija, 76 % hrvatskih građana smatra da imamo loše i izrazito loše pravosuđe.

Nažalost, monitoring koji smo imali prilikom ulaska u Europsku uniju nije bio dovoljan. Ja sam 21 godinu u hrvatskom pravosuđu. Devet godina sam bio sudac Trgovačkog suda i mogu vam osobno potvrditi da je hrvatsko društvo iznimno korumpirano društvo i da prvenstveno moramo riješiti, u što se moraju uključiti sve institucije Europske unije, pa i Europski parlament, vladavinu prava i korupciju u našoj Europskoj uniji i onda ćemo imati puno pravo raspravljati o vladavini prava u trećim zemljama.

 
  
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  Neena Gill (S&D). – Madam President, over a million people in Hong Kong have taken to the streets to peacefully exercise their fundamental right to protest. In response, they have been met with brutality, tear gas and rubber bullets. Many have been arrested and injured. Their only crime is a struggle for democracy and human rights. Their values are our values and they’re taking huge risks in endangering their livelihoods and even their lives.

The Commission and the European External Action Service really need to consider all measures in their power to support the people of Hong Kong, who are looking to us with hope, for support and with their demand for universal suffrage. We have the leverage. For example, should we consider the threat of withdrawal of Hong Kong’s financial status as third country equivalence if the Chinese Government takes aggressive action against the protesters and their leaders?

I would like to remind the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments of their obligations to the ‘one country, two systems’ principle – to the protection of civil and political rights in Hong Kong that they signed up to at the time of transfer from the UK in 1997. The EU – especially the UK – has a special responsibility to the people of Hong Kong. We need to act to protect them and ensure that they are given refuge in Europe if they continue to be targeted.

 
  
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  Lars Patrick Berg (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Wir sprechen heute zur Lage in Hongkong. Ich denke, wir sind uns alle einig, dass wir das Prinzip „ein Land, zwei Systeme“ für die Regierungsführung Hongkongs unterstützen. Wir alle können die Erklärung der Hohen Vertreterin und des kanadischen Außenministers unterstützen, als sie die chinesische Regierung und die Behörden Hongkongs aufforderten, das dortige Grundgesetz zu achten und anzuerkennen, und dass nur ein inklusiver Dialog die inneren Unruhen, die Hongkong jetzt beschäftigen, beilegen kann.

Forderungen nach einer unabhängigen Untersuchung der gewalttätigen Vorfälle vor allem seitens der Polizei, wie jetzt vom Vereinigten Königreich vorgeschlagen, sind eine Möglichkeit vorzugehen. Es ist aber auch darauf zu achten, die chinesische Regierung nicht immer weiter in die Defensive zu drängen, sodass die Dialogbereitschaft, sich mit den Anliegen der Menschen in Hongkong und der internationalen Gemeinschaft weiter auseinanderzusetzen, bestehen bleibt.

Eine strategische Diplomatie, die es der chinesischen Regierung ermöglicht, ohne Gesichtsverlust in den Dialog zu gehen, kann hoffentlich die Ergebnisse erzielen, die von den Bürgern Hongkongs leidenschaftlich vorgetragen werden, und eine weitere schreckliche Katastrophe, wie sie sich auf dem Tiananmen-Platz 1989 ereignete, verhindern.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, hvala lijepo gospođo predsjednice, prošlo je 100 dana od početka prosvjeda u Hong Kongu, najveće krize u odnosima s Kinom od 1997. godine kada je, u skladu s principom jedna zemlja-dva sustava, uz široku autonomiju Hong Kong vraćen Kini.

Premda je u međuvremenu povučen sporni zakon kojim bi se građani Hong Konga radi suđenja lakše izručivali Kini, prosvjednici se jednakim intenzitetom nastavljaju boriti za proširenu listu svojih zahtjeva. Između ostalog, traže veći stupanj demokratskih sloboda i puštanje tisuća uhićenih prosvjednika. Zabrinjava nas sve intenzivnije nasilje na ulicama Hong Konga. Zakonodavstvo Hong Konga treba djelovati u potpunosti u skladu s međunarodnim standardima i ljudskim pravima. Jednako tako, Kina se u procesu primjene svojih reformi i sve većim globalnim angažmanom deklaratorno opredijelila za međunarodni okvir poštivanja ljudskih prava, budući da je potpisnik međunarodnih ugovora. Potrebno je prije svega, dakle, stvoriti neophodne uvjete za okončanje nasilje te osigurati nastavak dijaloga između svih ključnih dionika. To je jedino jamstvo za ispunjavanje preuzetih dogovora i obaveza.

(Zastupnik je pristao odgovoriti na pitanje postavljeno podizanjem plave kartice (članak 171. stavak 8. Poslovnika))

 
  
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  Tomislav Sokol (PPE), pitanje koje je podizanjem plave kartice postavio. – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, hvala lijepa.

Kolega Picula, jezgrovito ste opisali situaciju u Hong Kongu i malo ste dali taj povijesni osvrt, kako je išla integracija Hong Konga u Kinu, ali s obzirom da cijelo pitanje vladavine prava i važnost Kine kao trgovinskog, političkog i svakog drugog partnera Europske unije, s obzirom na sve veće kineske investicije na području Europske unije pa i Republike Hrvatske, kako vidite, ako možete ukratko reći, odnose između Europske unije i Kine u budućnosti s obzirom na sve ove probleme koje ste sami spomenuli?

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D), odgovor na pitanje postavljeno podizanjem plave kartice. – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, hvala Vam doista na pitanju i ja se nadam da ćemo svi zajedno odgovoriti u ovom mandatu Europskog parlamenta, odgovarajući upravo na pitanje kako i na koji način rješavati odnose Europske unije sa svim onim zemljama za koje postoji sumnja, opravdana ili ona koju treba dokazati, da svojim postupcima ugrožavaju demokratske standarde.

Hoćemo li stavljati na prvo mjesto utrku za profitom, hoćemo li stavljati na prvo mjesto gospodarske interese, a pri tome stavljati sa strane ipak one neke, ja bih rekao, polazne i neprolazne vrijednosti same Europske unije. Ako doista budemo dobro odmjerili jedno i drugo, doista možemo možda utjecati na poboljšanje standarda poštivanja ljudskih prava u onim sredinama u kojima se ona očito ne poštuju adekvatno. Dakle, na nama je zapravo da odaberemo politiku vlastitih prioriteta.

 
  
 

„Catch the eye” eljárás

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Paní předsedající, podle mého názoru my musíme podpořit právě pokojné demonstrující v Hongkongu, je to sto dní, které otřásly Hongkongem. Otřásly i naši důvěru v dialog, které strany mohou vést tak, aby dospěly k zdárnému řešení. Demonstranti chrání své právo na autonomii, své základní právo na shromažďování, které jsou zaručeny hongkongskou ústavou. Jsem rád, že právě novela extradičního zákona byla stažena, ale náš hlas, myslím, že by dnes měl podpořit demokracii v Hongkongu a pokojné protestující, protože ta spirála násilí a provokací, která byla roztočena v Hongkongu, je skutečně nebezpečná.

Myslím si, že my bychom měli podpořit lidská práva i přes určité investice, o tom zde již byla řeč, protože my musíme mluvit o lidských právech i v případě, kdy jezdíme na delegace do Číny. Kdo jiný má mluvit než my a nevyměňujme lidská práva za obchodní příležitosti, to si myslím, že nám nesluší.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, along with other British Socialists and Democrats, Labour Party members, students and democracy activists, I signed an open letter to express solidarity with the continuing struggle for democracy in Hong Kong.

We support the Hong Kong people’s upsurge against the attacks on their democratic rights, against oppression and inequality. We support the immediate five demands of the movement: for an end to repression, for serious measures to deal with the police state and for democracy, including a government elected by universal suffrage.

We call on the labour and trade union movement across the world to organise political and practical solidarity with the Hong Kong struggle for democracy. We support independent workers’ and students’ organisations involved in the struggle. We demand the reinstatement of the Cathay Pacific airline workers sacked for supporting the democracy movement, including their union leader Rebecca Sy and City Legislative Council Member Jeremy Tam.

The battle to defend democratic liberties of all workers, particularly migrants in the US and UK, is inseparable from that of our sisters and brothers in Hong Kong now.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, I find a serious lack of balance with this debate. Not all the protests in Hong Kong have been peaceful. Their leadership has close ties to the far right and there has been much foreign interference and disinformation, with millions of dollars flown from the US regime change outfit, National Endowment for Democracy, into the civil society groups at the heart of this anti-China movement. There is even a photo of a protest leader meeting with a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

There are legitimate concerns for many of these young people who are on the streets, with their bleak job prospects and rising rents more closely connected to neoliberalism, the financialisation of the city and the domination by oligarchs of their economy and the property sector. Saying that China must meet the demands of this violent foreign-backed anti-China proxy force would just be the EU getting in on the foreign meddling in China’s affairs.

Let’s not wear blinkers on this matter.

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch (ECR). – Señora presidenta, yo estoy totalmente de acuerdo con lo que estamos diciendo sobre Hong Kong, sobre la defensa de los derechos humanos en Hong Kong, y también los querríamos para China. Pero lamento mucho que en este canto a los derechos humanos nos olvidemos, por ejemplo, de otra cosa, que es una paradoja.

Hace una semana solo, la señora Mogherini estaba en Cuba, cuando se estaba produciendo allí, en la isla, una brutal represión, una ola represiva como muy pocas ha habido. Y la señora Mogherini estaba hablando de una Cuba estupenda, una Cuba que serviría de puente para la Unión Europea hacia Iberoamérica. Un escándalo de discurso el de Mogherini en La Habana, de complicidad con la dictadura sangrienta que, desde hace sesenta años, aplasta a los cubanos, que desde hace sesenta años entra en Iberoamérica a desestabilizar y a apoyar tiranías como la venezolana o la nicaragüense, y que actúa como desestabilizadora general.

Por favor, seamos un poquito más coherentes.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, I roundly condemn police violence anywhere, by any state force on any continent, but I have to say that there is something very selective about this discussion on the protests in Hong Kong and indeed the blanket coverage that they are being given across Europe. The issue is being portrayed as a simplistic one with authoritarian China, on the one hand, and people crying out for freedom and democracy on the other.

Nothing is ever that simple and there is plenty of evidence of external interference. Much of the anger in Hong Kong is directed at the fact that the cost of living is astronomical with the highest rents in the world. But I find it a bit intriguing that we have to go halfway across the world to find a place where we can denounce police repression or where we can back democratic rights. Here in France, for example, the behaviour of the police and brutal repression has resulted in hundreds of people securing permanent injuries. We are saying nothing about that. There are political prisoners in jails in Spain, including some of our colleagues here. We say nothing about that.

So, while supporting the release of prisoners in Hong Kong and supporting investigations into violence there, I offer the same support for the European continent – in France and Spain and all the other countries that are trampling on democratic rights.

 
  
 

(„Catch the eye” eljárás vége)

 
  
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  Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Member of the Commission, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, I would like to thank Members for their interventions. I think almost all of them were very unanimous and summed up our feeling and approach to the ongoing events in Hong Kong. I want to thank you for keeping the subject at the top of your agenda.

As universal suffrage was mentioned a few times, I would like to remind you that the EU supports the implementation of the Basic Law, which states that universal suffrage is an aim for both the legislative council and chief executive. Such a reform would have to be agreed by all political stakeholders, both in Hong Kong and in Beijing. From this debate and the previous exchange of views that we had in July, we see that the European Union has a strong stake in Hong Kong and is concerned about its continued stability, continued prosperity and, most importantly, the respect of fundamental rights.

We will continue to follow the situation very closely, including the impact on EU residents and citizens and on EU economic interests in Hong Kong. It is more vital than ever to engage in dialogue to bridge the tensions within society for the benefit of Hong Kongers at large and in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as an international hub.

Allow me, therefore, to again express on behalf of High Representative Mogherini my appreciation for your attention and support in maintaining this important file at the top of your agenda, and I will repeat – as some of you have said – that fundamental rights are universal and should be protected.

 
  
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  Elnök asszony. – A vitát lezárom.

 
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