The Free World Commission, composed of influential lawmakers from leading democracies across the globe, condemned China’s recent enactment of a new security law in Hong Kong and called for governments around the world to recalibrate their relations with Beijing.
In a statement issued today, the Commission cited Beijing’s actions as a violation of China’s treaty obligations and “a grave challenge to the international community.” The Commission called on governments to “review and recalibrate relations with China,” offer protection to Hong Kong citizens in danger of persecution, and demand the appointment of a UN Special Envoy on Hong Kong. The statement calls for the world to “unite in defense of Hong Kong for the sake of the people of that great city, and for the maintenance of global peace and rule of law everywhere.”
The Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, serves as secretariat for the Commission. The Atlantic Council as an organization does not adopt or advocate positions on particular matters. The Council’s publications represent the views of the authors rather than those of the institution, and this statement solely represents the views of the Free World Commission.
Statement on the imposition of National Security Legislation upon Hong Kong by the People’s Republic of China
We, members of the Free World Commission, condemn the imposition of the National Security legislation on Hong Kong recently imposed by the Chinese National People’s Congress. This new law is a comprehensive assault on the city’s fundamental freedoms.
Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and way of life are guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the Hong Kong Basic Law, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Beijing’s imposition of this legislation represents a clear breach of its treaty obligations to the citizens of Hong Kong. These actions will severely undermine the rights of 7 million Hong Kong citizens and pose a grave challenge to the international community.
These actions cannot go unanswered. No country should be able to violate international norms and agreements with impunity.
Parliaments, governments, the G7, international institutions, and countless others haven spoken out against the unilateral imposition of the National Security Law. The leadership of the People’s Republic of China has not heeded their warnings. The time has now come for consequences to be made clear.
We therefore call upon governments:
- To demand the United Nations Secretary General to designate a UN Special Envoy to monitor and to report on Hong Kong.
- To offer protection to Hong Kong citizens in danger of persecution through an international “lifeboat” scheme organized by a coalition of democracies.
- To review and recalibrate relations with the People’s Republic of China, including efforts to reduce strategic dependency on China and reconsider aspects of the differential treatment afforded to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The international community cannot stand idly by while the rights of Hong Kong citizens are violated and international obligations are ignored. The world must unite in defense of Hong Kong for the sake of the people of that great city, and for the maintenance of global peace and rule of law everywhere.
- Rep. Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, United States
- Rep. Mike Gallagher, Member of the House Armed Services Committee, United States
- MP Andrew Hastie, Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Australia
- MP Michael Levitt, Chair of House of the Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Canada
- Rep. Tom Malinowski, Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, United States
- MEP David McAllister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, European Parliament
- MEP Kati Piri, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, European Parliament
- MP Lia Quartapelle Procopio, Secretary of the House Committee on Foreign and Community Affairs, Italy
- MdB Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs, Germany
- MP Tom Tugendhat, Chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, United Kingdom
For more information, please contact Ash Jain, Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, at [email protected].