Socialists condemn China’s move to strengthen its grip on Hong Kong

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have condemned the adoption by China of a highly controversial national security law, a move that undermines the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle that followed the end of British rule in 1997, leading to further escalations and endangering the status of the city.

Once again, the S&Ds strongly condemn the mass detention and prosecution of the Uyghur minority in China. We are very concerned by the latest media report about forced birth control aiming to suppressthe Muslim population in the Xinjiang province.

Kati Piri, S&D Group vice-president for foreign affairs, said:"The adopted national security law is an unprecedented blow to the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Hong Kong that they have been peacefully defending for so long. We deplore the attitude of China which ignored the calls from the international community, including the EU-China summit and the European Parliament, to respect the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle and to abandon its plans. In the resolution, overwhelmingly adopted only two weeks ago, this house clearly said that the new law would be an assault on the city’s autonomy as it violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the International Convenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR).

"For months we have been watching with admiration brave protestors in Hong Kong who have been standing up for their freedoms, basic rights, democracy and the rule of law. We have strong reasons to fear that China will use this new law as a means against protesting or criticising Beijing – as is happening in mainland China, to silence dissidents."

S&D foreign affairs committee spokesperson, Tonino Picula, added:"It goes without saying that this regrettable development puts at risk the cooperation between the EU and China. We call on the EU to use all political and legal instruments and economic leverage at its disposal, including ongoing negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement, in order to defend the fundamental freedoms, democracy and rule of law in Hong Kong.

"The S&Ds reiterate on this occasion our long standing worries regarding the respect for the human rights in China, particularly regarding Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs who are massively detained without trials mainly for being Muslim. I was shocked reading yesterday’s media reports about forced birth control on Uyghur women as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its population. These reports are one more reason for member states to work on targeted sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for this grave violation of human rights."

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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