Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs".
The European Parliament voted on Thursday to adopt a resolution asking the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to drop charges against and immediately release the protesters detained following the recent protests in Hong Kong. The lawmakers also called for an independent investigation into the use of force by Hong Kong police. This request turns a blind eye to the violence used against police officers during the protests and is an attempt to interfere in China's domestic affairs, which is why Beijing has strongly condemned the resolution.
165,000 people rally in support of the Hong Kong police on June 30, 2019. [Photo: IC]
Vandalizing the Legislative Council building and attacking police officers crosses the line of what constitutes peaceful protests. The people who carried out these acts have trampled on Hong Kong's rule of law in a manner that would not be tolerated by any sovereign country. They have also openly insulted the "one country, two systems" principle that is the cornerstone of the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland.
The Hong Kong police have exercised restraint as they performed their lawful duty to maintain order. While doing their duties, officers were attacked by protesters, and at least 13 policemen were injured. These attacks against the police have been ignored by some people in Europe who insist on calling the protests peaceful and have blamed the police for the behavior of the protesters.
The resolution by the European Parliament also claims that China's government is failing to live up to its obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which is the document signed in 1984 that established the transitional arrangements for Britain's handover of Hong Kong back to China on July 1, 1997. On that day, the affairs of Hong Kong became part of China's internal affairs, and not those of any European power. In the 22 years since the handover, China's government has implemented the policies of "one country, two systems" in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Although the resolution by the European Parliament is not legally binding, it is a step backwards in efforts to foster a healthy relationship between China and the European Union. And chaos and violence in Hong Kong is not in the interests of European companies or expats working in Hong Kong, one of the world's important financial centers.
The affairs of Hong Kong are part of China's domestic affairs, and no foreign country, organization, or individual has the right to impede China's sovereignty. A good relationship between China and the European Union is in the interests of both sides. European lawmakers should focus on building healthy and stable bilateral ties with China, instead of defending violence and attacks on the rule of law in Hong Kong.