Miriam Lexmann MEP, together with Hong Kong Watch, has been mobilising political leaders from across the world to join an international joint-statement led by the former Governor of Hong Kong Lord Patten and the former British Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind to respond to Beijing’s unilateral imposition of national security legislation in Hong Kong. A cross-party international coalition of over 250 parliamentarians and policymakers from 28 countries today issued a joint statement decrying this Beijing’s move.
‘The National People’s Congress of China has seriously threatened Hong Kong’s autonomy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms’, said Lexmann. It has announced its decision to enact national security legislation unilaterally in Hong Kong via Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law. It is expected that the law will introduce a range of vague and draconian charges to Hong Kong’s law including ‘subversion’, ‘secession’, and ‘colluding with foreign political forces.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration states that the Hong Kong government is to be granted a “high degree of autonomy” on all matters aside from defence and diplomacy. The Hong Kong Basic Law states that national security legislation of this type will be enacted by the Hong Kong government ‚on its own‘. The decision to use Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law for Beijing to directly legislate national security legislation is therefore an unprecedented and highly controversial intervention. According to Lexmann, ‘it is important that political leaders from democratic countries around the world stand in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, and oppose attempts to subvert Hong Kong’s autonomy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms, as well as international agreements. The freedom of the people of Hong Kong is our freedom. If one is not ready to speak for freedom everywhere, we can’t expect freedom is guaranteed anywhere.‘
You can find the full joint statement and full lit of signatories here.