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Human Rights

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 9 June 2020

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Questions (17, 28)

Carol Nolan

Question:

17. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will address the human rights concerns arising from the decision by China to impose new national security laws on Hong Kong; if he has made representations to the Chinese ambassador with respect to the violence being directed at peaceful protestors in Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9723/20]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

28. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has spoken recently to his EU counterparts regarding China's proposed new security laws for Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10229/20]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 17 and 28 together.

The Government is closely monitoring the situation in Hong Kong in light of the recent announcement by the Chinese National People's Congress to implement a national security law in Hong Kong.

Ireland, along with our EU partners, supports the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" under which Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy, along with an independent political and legal system, as set out in the Basic Law. We have a strong interest in the continued stability and prosperity of Hong Kong under this principle, underlined by Ireland's long history of engagement and the presence of a large Irish community there.

I have not yet spoken to the Chinese Ambassador in relation to this matter. However, the matter was discussed at the informal EU Foreign Minister's meeting on 29 May, after which a statement was released on behalf of the EU by High Representative Borrell, which Ireland fully supports. This statement expresses our grave concern at the decision and its conformity with the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 and the Hong Kong Basic Law. An earlier statement made on 22 May called for democratic debate, consultation of key stakeholders, and respect for protected rights and freedoms in Hong Kong when proceeding with the adoption of the proposed national security legislation.

I will continue to follow developments in Hong Kong closely as the situation evolves.

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