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1 July 2020. The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress adopted the National Security Law in Hong Kong on 30 June and subsequently promulgated it in Hong Kong the same day. The European Union reiterates its grave concerns about this law which was adopted without any meaningful prior consultation of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council and civil society.
"People's Republic of China
1. Overview of the human rights and democracy situation: During 2019, the human rights situation in China continued to be of significant concern. While there has been progress in economic and social rights, civil and political rights continue to be severely challenged. China promoted its vision of human rights, affirming that human rights should take in consideration national characteristics, the degree of development of the country, and the ‘development path’ chosen, thus defying the principles of universality and indivisibility of human rights. This position was expressed in international fora, as well as in official ‘white papers’.
Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer, Mr Yu Wensheng, was sentenced on 17 June 2020 to 4 years’ imprisonment, after more than 900 days of detention. His trial was held behind closed doors.
Under China's Criminal Procedure Law and international law obligations, defendants have the right to a fair trial, held without undue delay, to proper defence and to access to a lawyer of their choosing. Yu Wensheng’s rights were not respected.
As China’s rise went global in recent years, the EU’s relationship with it has been changing – and now the corona crisis is affecting that change. From an essentially bilateral relationship focused on economic cooperation, it has turned into a global relationship where deep cooperation co-exists with elements of sometimes open competition. Overall, the EU’s stance has become more realistic and assertive. In parallel, we have also strengthened EU cooperation with other major Asian partners, notably Japan, South Korea, India and others. For its part, China has proceeded with a truly impressive transformation that is having geopolitical consequences.
The authors are the EU Ambassador to China and the Ambassadors to China of the 27 EU Member States
This year we celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the European Union and China, established on 6th May 1975. It is an important milestone in an ever more important relationship between our union of 27 European states and China.
We have come a very long way since 1975. At that time, the EU was made up of just nine member states. China was only beginning to open up and had yet to undergo its formidable economic transformation. Trade between our two sides was miniscule; now, in normal times, the EU and China engage in 1.8 billion euro of trade per day with each other.