Let me first of all thank colleagues from across the political groups for excellent cooperation on this urgency resolution.
Article 21 of the EU treaties clearly state that the Union’s external action shall be guided by the values and principles on which the Union was founded – in particular, democracy, the rule of law, the universality of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and respect for human dignity.
Dear colleagues, the Chinese Communist Party and its lackeys in Hong Kong continue to strip away the city’s high-degree of autonomy and suppress Hong Kong’s freedoms, including political rights. They are using the so-called ‘National Security Law’ as a pretext to destroy Hong Kong’s democracy and put in jail pro-democracy politician and activists.
These developments are highly worrying. It is no longer sufficient to be concerned. We have also learned a lesson, that pure economic engagement is not a way of supporting democracy and human rights as we used to believe. If the Union wants to be a credible actor, and truly engage in a value-based foreign policy, we must use our economic position as a leverage to support those who are oppressed rather than reward human rights abusers. Otherwise, we may become morally co-responsible for these crimes and abuses.
To support the people of Hong Kong, our steps must include:
- Implementing the July 2020 Council Conclusions on Hong Kong, including the lifeboat scheme, suspension of extradition treaties and support for civil society
- Using the new Magnitsky Act to sanction Carrie Lam and other Chinese and Hong Kong officials
- And make it clear to the Chinese Communist Party that this House WILL take human rights into consideration when to endorse the investment agreement and any future trade deals with China or other regimes supressing human rights
It is time for the European Union to act. It is time to defend freedom. It is time to Stand with Hong Kong.
Photo: European Parliament