Hong Kong National Security Law and its impact on EU-China relations

S&D MEP Isabel Santos and Greens/EFA MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, in collaboration with the grassroots organisation Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong and the Whitehouse Consultancy, will host a webinar discussion on Hong Kong’s National Security Law and the case of the 12 detainees – What role for the EU in China’s Human Rights Abuses on 15th April at 11am CEST.  The event will be moderated by senior international journalist, Paulo Dentinho and will also hear from pro-democracy activist and former member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council Nathan Law on the EU’s response to human rights abuses in Hong Kong and its impact on wider EU-China relations.

Draconian Policies

The imposition of the National Security Law (NSL) in Hong Kong on 30th June 2020 saw a sweeping introduction of draconian policies that have left Hongkongers easily accused, criminalised and imputed for exercising the democratic rights they once enjoyed. Article 38 of this Law gives it a global jurisdiction, meaning European citizens can also face charges of secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with foreign forces for holding China accountable to its actions in Hong Kong and speaking up on the CCP’s Human Rights abuses.

EU Response

The EU’s response to developments in Hong Kong has so far been limited. The July 2020 Council Conclusions on Hong Kong included a number of recommended and non-binding actions for Member States, which have not yet been fully implemented. In addition, in March 2021, the Council imposed Global Human Rights sanctions on Chinese officials, but these do not cover those involved in human rights abuses in Hong Kong. In two resolutions, on 19th June 2020 and recently on 21st January 2021, the European Parliament has called upon the EU Institutions and Member States to support Hong Kong’s legal autonomy and urged the EU to guide its relations with the People’s Republic of China by its principles and values.

As the EU seeks to promote its bilateral relations with China and conclude the negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with the country, China’s authoritarian and repressive actions in Hong Kong call into question China’s willingness to honour international commitments. Will the EU be able to uphold its values in its pursuit of a deeper economic relationship with Beijing?

Speakers will aim to unpick the extraterritorial nature of the Hong Kong NSL and its impact on EU-China relations.

Register here

Make sure you register for the webinar here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dzQ-exchSDeTFEynnZhfZg 

Political consultancy

The Whitehouse team are expert political consultants providing public relations and public affairs advice and political analysis to a wide range of clients, not only in the United Kingdom, but also across the member states of the European Union and beyond. For more information, please contact our Chair, Chris Whitehouse, at chris.whitehouse@whitehousecomms.com.

More on Whitehouse Communications’ work on Hong Kong is here.