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Remarks by Spokesperson of Chinese Mission to the EU on the European Parliament's Resolution on China's National Security Legislation in Hong Kong

On June 19, the European Parliament adopted a resolution which makes unwarranted criticism against the formulation of the national security legislation in Hong Kong by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC). We are gravely concerned about and firmly opposed to the resolution and have lodged stern representations with the EU side. In response to the false allegations in the resolution, I would like to elaborate on China’s position on the following questions.

1. Does the formulation of the national security legislation represent an interference in Hong Kong affairs?

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. The legislation for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong is entirely China’s internal affair. Non-interference is a basic principle of international law and international relations. The European Parliament has made groundless accusations against China over Hong Kong affairs. Isn’t this gross interference in China’s internal affairs? Safeguarding national security is an essential prerequisite for a country’s survival and development, and it is the core element of national sovereignty. No countries in the world, including those in Europe, would allow for any legal gaps in terms of national security. Nor would any country allow any acts that endanger national security on its own territory. The NPC decision is a necessary step taken to close the legal loopholes regarding national security in Hong Kong. It is fully constitutional, legal, justifiable and reasonable. The European Parliament is apparently applying double standards by adopting the resolution, which we would never accept.

2. Will the national security legislation threaten the principle of “one country, two systems” and the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong?

The NPC decision reiterates China’s commitment to the full and faithful implementation of the “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy. This is a solemn commitment to the “one country, two systems” made once again by China’s supreme organ of state power through NPC legislation, the highest form of law. The national security legislation will not change the Hong Kong’s capitalist system, its high degree of autonomy under the Basic Law, or Hong Kong residents’ lifestyle. The legislation will only improve Hong Kong’s legal system, bring more social stability in the long run, and contribute to the sound implementation of the “one country, two systems”.

3. Has China gone back on the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the relevant international commitments?

The Sino-British Joint Declaration is essentially about the resumption of exercise of sovereignty by China over Hong Kong. With the return of Hong Kong in 1997, UK-related obligations under the Declaration had all been fulfilled. The legal basis for the governance of Hong Kong by the Chinese government is the Constitution of China and the Basic Law of Hong Kong. The basic policies regarding Hong Kong set out in the Declaration are China’s elaboration on its own, not China’s commitments to the UK. The relevant policies have been fully reflected in the Basic Law, which China will continue to adhere to. None of the paragraphs in the Declaration give any country or organization any right to interfere in Hong Kong affairs.

4. Will the national security legislation impinge on individual rights and freedoms?

The legislation only targets acts of separatism, subversion, and terrorism that seriously undermine national security as well as foreign and external interference in Hong Kong affairs. It will not impinge on and would rather better protect the legitimate rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents. Any work and law enforcement to safeguard national security will be done in strict accordance with applicable laws and regulations, within statutory purview, and follow due procedures. The legitimate rights and interests of Hong Kong residents, legal persons and other organizations will not be infringed upon.

There are more than 2,300 EU companies and about 350,000 EU citizens in Hong Kong. Over the past year, the European business communities have expressed grave concerns about the violence and riots in Hong Kong. The legislation is intended to punish a narrow category of acts seriously endangering national security, including those supporting “Hong Kong independence” and violent terrorists. It aims to strengthen rule of law, create a more stable and predictable business environment and better protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong, including those from European countries.

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