Whitehouse supported the grassroots movement Fight for Freedom Stand With Hong Kong in the organisation of a webinar discussion entitled “Hong Kong’s National Security Law – What role for the EU in China’s Human Rights Abuses?”, co-hosted by Members of the European Parliament Isabel Santos (S&D, Portugal) and Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens/EFA, Germany).
The webinar, held on 15th April, was chaired by Paulo Dentinho, senior international journalist at RTP, and featured guest speaker Nathan Law, a leading pro-democracy activist. The discussion was followed by parliamentarians, activists and representatives of the Chinese Mission to the EU.
During the webinar, Isabel Santos MEP (S&D, Portugal) said:
“China’s authoritarian oppression is currently on full display. Hong Kong is being taken by this regime. Despite the systematic and highly visible oppression on a national level, the NSL has nonetheless prevailed. Neither the extraterritorial character of the NSL nor the sanctions China recently imposed on the EP’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and other parliamentarians will stop us from doing everything we can to bring back Hong Kong’s autonomy. This debate is an opportunity to rethink EU – China relations. We cannot be complacent with a country where human rights are constantly violated.”
Reinhard Bütikofer MEP (Greens/EFA, Germany) said:
“China is ignoring several commitments in order to impose Beijing’s will onto the people in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Basic Law is being turned upside down. The National Security Law was just the beginning for the intended transformation of Hong Kong into just another mainland city. It is of paramount importance that we not just criticise, but we also find actions to showcase our support for Hongkongers and that we oppose China’s aggressive policies. We can make China pay a price for their aggressive policies and this is what the EU should do even more than it has.
Nathan Law, pro-democracy activist, said:
“The implementation of the National Security Law was in response to the ability of the Hong Kong people to resist and to pursue democracy. By the time I read through the contents of the law, I realised it’s impossible for us to continue our advocacy work in Hong Kong. [Hong Kong authorities] don’t need much to convict you. The ‘one country, two systems’ approach does not exist anymore in Hong Kong.
“The EU has a strong need to respond to this situation, including upscaling the sanctioning list to include senior police officers and decreasing reliance on China in terms of their supply chains. In addition, we need to coordinate with other like-minded allies to uphold democratic values around the world. Hong Kong is a backdrop of a global democratic decline. If we don’t act now, we will see the rise of authoritarianism and the deterioration of democratic values. The EU should be the champion of promoting democracy and human rights.”
Please find the full video recording here: Hong Kong’s National Security Law – What role for the EU in China’s Human Rights Abuses?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.