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NEWSLETTER: EU and France Leaders Meet China, US Meets Taiwan, and UK Calls for Global Hostages...

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Committee News

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation wrote a letter to the British Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Secretary of State Lucy Frazer MP and Minister for Sport Stuart Andrew MP about Beijing’s sportswashing at the upcoming Hong Kong Soccer Sevens. The UK government should not condone Britain’s Premier League athletes’ participation in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens and other global sporting events which are hosted by authoritarian regimes who continue to abuse human rights worldwide.

The British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee released the report, Stolen years: combatting stage hostage diplomacy, which finds that the British government fails to hold accountable countries and territories guilty of state hostage taking. The CFHK Foundation’s Director of the UK & EU, Mark Sabah, said, “I want to applaud Alicia Kearns MP and the Foreign Affairs Committee for this important report. It is a tacit criticism of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s policies that do not do enough to support British citizens who are being held hostage and leveraged as diplomatic tools.”

Finn Lau, Chairman of the first-ever UK-Hong Kong Summit and Founder of Hong Kong Liberty, wrote in the CFHK Foundation blog, “It was truly inspiring to bring together over 160 people and more than 60 civil society organisations from across the UK who share a common passion for freedom in Hong Kong and a desire to integrate with their local communities in the UK”.

Hong Kong

John Lee said Hong Kong’s latest rally was “orderly, safe, and lawful”, endorsing the strict conditions that are now being imposed on protesters. The Chief Police Commissioner will decide whether to allow future demonstrations based on their perceived risks.

Hong Kong’s security chief said that critics of Hong Kong authorities' required ID tags for protesters “hope to endanger national security”.

Many journalists in Hong Kong’s largest press group reported being followed by unidentifiable men. When asked about this harassment during a press conference, John Lee refused to recognise the continued erosion of Hong Kong’s free press.

The Hong Kong authorities claimed that the number of National Security Law arrests is small in proportion to the population. Not one individual should be detained for selling children’s books, publishing newspaper articles, and exercising their rights under international law.

The Hong Kong Sevens, sponsored by HSBC and Cathay Pacific, took place in Hong Kong last weekend while 1,415 political prisoners were imprisoned nearby. For the first time ever, the stadium was proportionally empty, as expats, businesspeople, and Hong Kongers themselves have fled from the city-state.

Hong Kong’s workforce experienced its largest labour drop since 1985, with an estimated 94,100 Hong Kongers and foreigners fleeing from the city-state in the last year.

UK-China Relations

Alicia Kearns MP, Chair of the British Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, shared that she has a “panic button in every room of her house” in case the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) attempts to hurt her due to her strong, outspoken work to defend freedom worldwide.

The BBC exposed that not only TikTok, but CapCut, Shein, and Temu are applications that are owned by Chinese firms and therefore at risk of infiltration from the Chinese state in the UK, US, and around the world.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs raised no red flags regarding 11,000 Chinese firms that re-registered their companies’ addresses to a block of flats in Wales.

EU-China Relations

This week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron travelled to Beijing to meet Xi Jinping. Although President Macron emphasised Beijing’s role in building peace in Ukraine, the EU and France should remain vigilant and heed President von der Leyen’s call to de-risk EU-China relations.

French Senators Olivier Cadic, André Gattolin, and André Vallini as well as Parliamentarian Constance Le Grip among others signed a letter to show their support for Hong Kong and Taiwan, urging President von der Leyen and President Macron to send a firm message to the Chinese authorities during their visit to China.

US-China Relations

The US Department of State released its 2023 Hong Kong Policy Act Report, which calls out the People’s Republic of China’s increased human rights abuses under the National Security Law as it continues to violate the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

It is no surprise that the Hong Kong authorities “firmly rejected” the US Department of State’s 2023 Hong Kong Policy Act Report, which cites the case of British citizen Jimmy Lai and details how the Hong Kong government continues to “undermine the rule of law and freedoms in the territory under a national security crackdown”.

Donnie Yen, a Hong Kong actor who presented at the Oscars last month, responded to a petition which gained more than 110,000 signatures calling for his removal from the Oscars. Mr Yen labelled the petition “cyberbullying”, yet it simply shed light on Mr Yen’s contempt for Hong Kong and Hollywood’s indifference to defending global freedom.

The Congressional Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the CCP received a briefing from the FBI on the CCP’s secret police stations and harassment plots throughout the US. Chairman of the Select Committee, Representative Mike Gallagher, said, “The FBI calls the Chinese Communist Party’s stalking, harassment, and assault of those who might oppose the Party's ‘transnational repression,’ but to most Americans, the CCP’s bullying looks a lot like mafia behavior."

US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy became the most senior figure to meet with a Taiwanese leader on US soil since 1979. Speaker McCarthy and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen championed the US-Taiwan bond and emphasised their desire to preserve peace and democracy worldwide.

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