Rep. Meadows’ Statement Supporting Autonomy and Democracy in Hong Kong

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WASHINGTON, August 23, 2019 | Ben Williamson (202-225-6401) | comments

RELEASE:
Rep. Meadows’ Statement Supporting Autonomy and Democracy in Hong Kong

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) issued the following statement supporting autonomy and democracy in Hong Kong, and opposing violence against the demonstrators:

“The courage of the pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong is inspirational. They are determined to protect Hong Kong’s freedoms from further erosion by the Chinese Communist Party and deserve universal respect for their willingness to fight for their freedoms while enduring violence and abuse.

Beijing caused this crisis by reneging on their explicit promise to preserve the autonomy, liberty, and economic and legal system of Hong Kong, made in 1997 under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy, during the official handover of Hong Kong from the UK to the People’s Republic of China. Beijing’s recent attempt to pass a bill to allow the extradition of individuals in Hong Kong to be tried by Communist Party-controlled courts on the mainland would not only put the people of Hong Kong in danger, but also Americans and other travelers to Hong Kong – making this more than an issue internal to Hong Kong.

I agree with the White House’s emphasis on a peaceful, humane resolution that respects the rights of the people of Hong Kong.

Weeks of peaceful demonstrations requesting the formal withdrawal of the bill have not been respected by the mainland government. Now is the time for the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, the release of arrested demonstrators and the dropping of their charges, an end to the attacks on demonstrators, and the granting of universal suffrage to the people of Hong Kong.

The accusations of "terrorism" by Communist Party Officials in Beijing are beyond ludicrous. Millions of people – a quarter of Hong Kong’s population – organizing independently and organically to stand for individual liberties, democracy, human rights, and the autonomy they were promised by Beijing is a testament to both the importance of these values and the seriousness of the situation.

30 years after the massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, any violent action by any instrument of the Chinese Communist Party is completely unacceptable. No country that conducts itself in such a way can expect to be trusted or respected by its neighbors or the international community.

Years of undermining the autonomy and freedoms of Hong Kong must end. Beijing’s refusal to honor previous agreements on Hong Kong is deeply concerning and further endangers democracies it imagines to be in its sphere of influence, notably Taiwan. Those in Communist Party leadership responsible for the wholesale trampling of human rights across China, the mistreatment of Tibetans and Uighurs, the arrests of peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong, and any violence against Hong Kong should be held accountable, including through Magnitsky sanctions. Impunity is no option.

The people of Hong Kong are standing for their ability to freely assemble, worship, speak, vote, and live with the very liberties we hold dear – liberties which far too many in China have lost.”

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