The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation in Hong Kong on Thursday, calling for “appropriate export control mechanisms” on technologies that could be used to violate human rights.

The proposed resolution “calls for the EU, its Member States and the international community to work towards the imposition of appropriate export control mechanisms to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies used to violate basic rights.” It was passed by a majority of parliamentarians, who raised their hands in support.

police china extradition protest june 12 2019 Photo May James (19) (Copy)
Photo: May James.

The resolution was jointly proposed by several groups across the political spectrum. Members of parliament from countries including the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Cyprus spoke in support of the resolution during the 20-minute debate.

Reinhard Bütikofer, a German politician of the Greens–European Free Alliance, said that EU foreign policy should be based on fundamental values such as human rights, rule of law and democracy.

Reinhard Bütikofer
Reinhard Bütikofer. Photo: Screenshot.

“When we see people rising in defence of their civic and human rights, we as Europeans must express our solidarity, and this is what we do with the people of Hong Kong through this resolution,” he said.

They called upon Hong Kong to completely withdraw the controversial extradition bill, which has sparked weeks of protest and unrest. The group called for an immediate release of peaceful protesters and for charges against them to be dropped. In line with demonstrators’ demands, they also urged for an independent investigation into the use of force by the Hong Kong police, as well as universal suffrage for the city under the Basic Law.

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The banner leading the march reads: “Support the young, protect Hong Kong” at a protest on July 17. Photo: May James.

The extradition bill would allow the city to handle case-by-case fugitive transfers to jurisdictions with no prior arrangements, including China. Critics have said residents would be at risk of extradition to the mainland, which lacks human rights protections. Chief Executive Carrie Lam declared the bill “dead” last week, but did not enact any mechanism to withdraw it.

‘Unnecessary’ force

Antony Hook, a British politician of the Renew Europe Group, said Hong Kong police has used force and violence against protesters that were “unnecessary.”

Antony Hook
Antony Hook. Photo: Screenshot.

“We say to the people of Hong Kong that the people of Europe stand with you. We say to the government of Hong Kong and China that we implore you to respect the dignity and the rights of every single individual, and then together we can build a world of peace and justice for everyone,” he said.

Anna Fotyga, a Polish politician of the European Conservatives and Reformists, said Hong Kong people were afraid of the extradition bill.

“I am afraid these protests are to continue unless the situation is solved politically,” she said.

Anna Fotyga
Anna Fotyga. Photo: Screenshot.

Tonino Picula, a Croatian politician of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, said China has signed a wide range of international human rights treaties.

“We have to pursue the dialogue with China to live up to these commitments,” he said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s office in Hong Kong has condemned the resolution, saying that Hong Kong issues were China’s internal affairs.

Tonino Picula
Tonino Picula. Photo: Screenshot.

A spokesperson of the office said the resolution contained “ignorance, bias and hypocritical double standards.”

“The relevant lawmakers recklessly smear ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the central government’s policy towards Hong Kong – clearly they have turned black into white and have ulterior motives,” it said.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.