The European Parliament has criticized the EU executive for rushing to reach an investment agreement with the Chinese regime despite ongoing repression in Hong Kong and other parts of China.
The deal, which was seven years in the making, was concluded after the communist regime made commitments to expand market access for European businesses and to improve China’s labor standards.
The EU legislature also “regrets the fact that, by rushing to reach this agreement while not taking concrete action against ongoing grave human right violations, for example in Hong Kong, Xinjiang province and Tibet, the EU risks undermining its credibility as a global human rights actor.”
The Parliament pledged it “will carefully scrutinise the agreement, including its provisions on labour rights.”
It said it “will take the human rights situation in China, including in Hong Kong, into account when asked to endorse the investment agreement or future trade deals with the PRC [People’s Republic of China].”
The European Parliament resolution also urged EU leaders to “promptly consider” the introduction of targeted sanctions against Hong Kong and Chinese officials who are responsible for the abuse in Hong Kong, including Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's chief executive; Xia Baolong, director of China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office; and Luo Huining, head of China's Hong Kong liaison office.
The Parliament “strongly” welcomed the UK government’s offer of a pathway to citizenship for Hong Kong residents who hold British National Overseas (BNO) passports.