A coalition of 191 parliamentarians and policymakers from 23 countries have issued a statement condemning Beijing’s “unilateral introduction of national security legislation in Hong Kong,’ and calling for sympathetic governments to unite against this ‘flagrant breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.”

hong kong occupy protest umbrella
File photo: via Flickr.

The letter comes after Beijing announced plans to roll out national security legislation in the autonomous city.

The initiative was led by the former governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten, and the former UK Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind. The list of signatories included ex-prime ministers, foreign secretaries, defence ministers, as well as legal and human rights experts and diplomats.

Lord Patten of Barnes said: “The statement shows growing and widespread international outrage at the decision by the Chinese government to unilaterally impose national security legislation in Hong Kong. The breadth of support, which spans all political parties and four continents, reflects both the severity of the situation and ongoing unified international support for the principle of one-country, two-systems.”

Ex-British foreign secretary and patron for NGO Hong Kong Watch, Sir Malcolm Rifkind said: “This is the most serious threat to the people of Hong Kong that there has been from the Chinese Government since 1997. The people of Hong Kong need, and deserve, our support.”

The statement in full:

We, the co-signed, write to express grave concerns about the unilateral introduction of national security legislation by Beijing in Hong Kong. 

This is a comprehensive assault on the city’s autonomy, rule of law, and fundamental freedoms. The integrity of one-country, two-systems hangs by a thread. 

It is the genuine grievances of ordinary Hong Kongers that are driving protests. Draconian laws will only escalate the situation further, jeopardising Hong Kong’s future as an open Chinese international city. 

If the international community cannot trust Beijing to keep its word when it comes to Hong Kong, people will be reluctant to take its word on other matters. Sympathetic governments must unite to say that this flagrant breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration cannot be tolerated.


Rt. Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, former Governor of Hong Kong

Rt. Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary:


Members of the Senate

Senator Benjamin L Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee

Senator Ted Cruz, Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Senator Edward J Markey, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy

Senator Robert Menendez, Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Senator Marco Rubio, Acting Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee

Members of the House of Representatives

Congressman Robert B Aderholt

Congressman Ami Bera, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Non-proliferation, House Foreign Affairs Committee

Congressman Eliot L Engel, Chairman of US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Congressman Vicky Hartzler

Congressman Michael T McCaul, ranking member of US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

Congressman James McGovern, co-chair of the Congressional Executive Commission on China

Congressman Adam B Schiff, Chairman of the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Congressman Adam Smith, Chairman of US House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services

Congressman Christopher Smith, former Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee

Congressman Tom Suozzi

Congressman Ted Yoho, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Non-proliferation, US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

Former Ambassadors

Grover Joseph Rees, former USA Ambassador to East Timor


Former EU Special Envoys

Jan Figel, former Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia and EU Special Envoy for Promotion Freedom of Religion or Belief outside of the EU (2016-19)

Members of the European Parliament

Petras Austrevicuis MEP (Renew Europe, Lithuania)

Jose Ramon Bauza Diaz MEP (Renew Europe, Spain)

Francois-Xavier Bellamy MEP (European People’s Party, France)

Vladimír Bilčík MEP (European People’s Party, Slovakia)

Reinhard Buetikofer MEP (Greens, Germany)

Katalin Cseh MEP (Renew Europe, Hungary)

Pascal Durand MEP (Renew Europe, France)

Engin Eroglu MEP (Renew Europe, Germany)

Anna Fotyga MEP, (European Conservatives & Reformists) Poland former Foreign Secretary of Poland

Michael Gahler MEP (European People’s Party, Germany)

Evelyne Gebhardt MEP (Socialists & Democrats, Germany)

Markéta Gregorová MEP (Greens, Czech Republic)

Bernard Guetta MEP (Renew Europe, France)

Rasa Jukneviciene MEP, (European People’s Party, Lithuania) former Minister of Defence of Lithuania and former President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

Eugen Jurzyca MEP (European Conservatives & Reformists, Slovakia)

Karin Karlsbro MEP

Moritz Körner MEP

Andrius Kubilius MEP (European People’s Party, Lithuania), former Prime Minister of Lithuania

Miriam Lexmann MEP (European People’s Party, Slovakia)

Javier Nart MEP (Renew Europe, Spain)

Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová MEP (European Conservatives & Reformists, Slovakia)

Urmas Paet MEP (Renew Europe, Estonia), former Foreign Secretary of Estonia

Peter Pollák MEP (European People’s Party, Slovakia)

Michaela Šojdrová MEP (European People’s Party, Czech Republic)

Ivan Štefanec MEP (European People’s Party, Slovakia)

Romana Tomc MEP (European People’s Party, Slovenia)

Hilde Vautmans MEP (Renew Europe, Belgium)

Guy Verhofstadt MEP (Renew Europe, Belgium), former Prime Minister of Belgium


Peter Heidt MP, Germany

Eckhard Gnodtke MP, Germany

Gyde Jensen MP, the Chair of the Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid Committee, Germany


Joar Forssell MP, Sweden

Hampus Hagman MP, Sweden

David Josefsson MP, Sweden

Frederik Malm MP, Sweden

Lorentz Tovatt MP, Sweden


Viggo Fischer MP, Denmark


Senator Ronan Mullen


Mantas Adomenas MP

Arvydas Anusauskas MP

Audronius Azubalis MP, former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Laurynas Kasciunas MP

Gabrielius Landsbergis MP

Radvilė Morkunaite-Mikuleniene MP

Emanuelis Zingeris MP, Chair of the Subcommittee on Transatlantic Relations and Democratic Development

Žygimantas Pavilionis MP, former Ambassador of Lithuania to the United States of America


Members of Parliament

Alojz Baránik MP

Ján Benčík MP

Peter Cmorej MP

Ondrej Dostál MP

Gábor Grendel MP, Deputy Speaker

Jarmila Halgašová MP

Radovan Kazda MP

Miroslav Kollár MP

Vladimíra Marcinková MP

Peter Osuský MP

Peter Pollák MP

Juraj Šeliga MP, Deputy Speaker

Andrej Stančík MP

Romana Tabák MP

Marián Viskupič MP

Anna Zemanová MP

Miroslav Žiak MP

Jana Žitňanská MP

Former Member of Parliament

František Šebej, former MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee,


Andrew Khoo, Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Malaya in Malaysia, former Co-Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Bar Council Malaysia

Charles Santiago MP, Chair of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights


U Kyaw Min San, Member of the Bago Regional Parliament and former legal adviser to the International Commission of Jurists Office

South Korea

Jung-Hoon Lee, former Ambassador for Human Rights, South Korea


Dr John Dayal, former President of the All India Catholic Union and Member of the National Integration Council, India


Rafendi Djamin, former Representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights, Indonesia

 Yuyun Wahyuningrum, Representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights, Indonesia


Members of Parliament

Kevin Andrews MP, Former Australian Defence Minister, Chairman of the Human Rights sub-committee of the Australian Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade

Vicki Dunne MP

Andrew Hastie MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Committee for Intelligence and Security, Australia

Ian Goodenough MP

Peter Khalil MP, Member of the Joint Standing Committee Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade

Janelle Saffin MP

Dave Sharma MP, Member for Wentworth

Phillip Thompson MP, Member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Tim Wilson MP

Members of the Senate

Senator Eric Abetz, former Leader of the Government in the Senate

Senator Alex Antic

Senator Slade Brockman, Senator for Western Australia

Senator Matthew Canavan, former Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

Senator Claire Chandler

Senator David Fawcett, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade, former Assistant Minister for Defence

Senator Kimberley Kitching, Shadow Assistant Minister for Government Accountability and member of the Joint Standing Committee Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade

Senator Matthew O’Sullivan

Senator James Paterson

Senator Tony Sheldon

Senator Amanda Stoker

New Zealand

Simeon Brown MP

Marama Davidson MP, Coleader of the Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Simon O’Connor MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Committee


Members of Parliament

Kenny Chiu MP

Garnett Genius MP, Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism & Canada-China Relations

Erin O’Toole MP, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

John Williamson MP

Members of the Senate

Senator Leo Housakos, former Speaker of the Senate

Senator Jim Munson

Senator Thanh Hai Ngo

Former Ministers

Irwin Colter, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General

David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific and former MP

Former Premiers

Bob Rae, former Premier of Ontario and Federal MP

Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.