The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Friday at an online session calling on the EU leadership to file a lawsuit against China with the UN International Court of Justice at The Hague and apply economic pressure against China if Beijing adopts a national security law for Hong Kong. According to the results of voting published on Friday evening, the vast majority of 565 European deputies voted for the resolution with 34 votes against and 62 abstentions.
“The European Parliament calls on the European Union and its member states, if the new security law is applied to Hong Kong, to file a lawsuit against China with the UN International Court [in The Hague],” the resolution said. From the point of view of the European MPs, the basis for filing such a claim will be a violation after the introduction of this law into force of the principle of “one country – two systems”, which determines the autonomous status of Hong Kong.
The task of the International Court of Justice of the United Nations is to resolve legal disputes between states, the trial in it may begin subject to the consent of all interested states to consider the case in this instance. This court is not related to other international courts, also based in The Hague, for example, the International Criminal Court.
The European Parliament also called for preparations to impose economic sanctions against China for violating human rights and media freedom. “The European Parliament is confident that the EU should use its economic weight to respond to the massive violations of human rights in China by economic means,” the resolution said.
All resolutions of the European Parliament are of a recommendatory nature and are not binding even for the institutions of the European Union itself. Meanwhile, the adoption of this document threatens to seriously complicate the EU-PRC summit scheduled for June 22, which should be held in a video conference format. Its main topics will be trade and investment cooperation, as well as the fight against a new type of coronavirus pandemic.
Hong Kong National Security Bill
On May 28, the All-China Assembly of People’s Representatives (the highest legislative body of the PRC) adopted a resolution on the development of a law on ensuring national security in Hong Kong. It is expected that thanks to the new legal act, the authorities in Beijing will be able to promptly suppress the actions of the radicals, who from June to November last year caused a lot of unrest that caused significant damage to the region’s economy. During the year, police arrested over 9 thousand offenders involved in blocking roads, violence, arson, and acts of vandalism.
The text of the document is being developed and should be approved soon. The main task is to create in the territory of the special administrative region a special structure of the central government of the PRC, which will quickly eliminate the manifestations of violence and aggression that have resumed recently.