Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Ceisteanna (53, 63)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

53. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the contact he has had with the Chinese Government on the proposed extradition law being introduced in Hong Kong; his views on the way in which this may damage democratic rule in the city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25220/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

63. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the discussions he has had with the Chinese ambassador to Ireland and/or his counterparts across the EU in response to the recent anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25226/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53 and 63 together.

I have addressed these concerns in the question put to me by my colleague Deputy Boyd Barrett earlier in this session.

As I stated previously, Ireland fully supports the right to assembly and freedom of expression. We encourage demonstrators to exercise their rights peacefully, as they did on Sunday 16 June, and call for security forces to respond with restraint and respect for citizen's rights. These sentiments were echoed in the statement made by High Representative Mogherini on the evening of 12 June, which Ireland fully supports.

While I have not had any direct contact with the Chinese government on this matter, the Consul General of Ireland in Hong Kong, along with the EU Office and other EU Member States has engaged directly with Hong Kong authorities on this matter. Our Embassy in Beijing, along with the Consulate General and officials in my Department, will continue to monitor the situation closely.