Today’s passing of national security legislation for Hong Kong in China’s National People’s Congress was met with severe condemnation and calls to action from members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC).
Senior politicians from the 15 parliaments represented by IPAC signed a joint statement expressing their grave concern at this development, calling the new law a “comprehensive assault on the city’s freedoms”, as reported in the Hong Kong Free Press.
IPAC members Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Bob Menendez and Representative Mike Gallagher introduced the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act in both chambers of the US Congress. The Wall Street Journal and the Nikkei Asian Review reported that the bill had received bipartisan support and would give refugee status to Hong Kong residents at risk of persecution under the new legislation.
Representatives Gen Nakatani and Shiori Yamao, also IPAC members, called on the Japanese government to act in a joint press conference. Yahoo Japan reported on their call for an international “lifeboat” scheme, offering an escape route for Hong Kong citizens in danger of persecution under the new law.
Interventions were also made in the Lithuanian Seimas by IPAC member Dovilė Šakalienė, and in the British House of Commons by a number of IPAC members. Both reiterated IPAC’s request for a designated UN Special Envoy to monitor and report on Hong Kong and for national parliaments to bring forward legislation to audit and reduce strategic dependency on China.
IPAC legislators have been instrumental in securing the passage of US sanctions on banks doing business with Chinese officials responsible for the crackdown, and the British government’s offer of extended residency rights and a path to citizenship for British Nationals (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong.
The support of IPAC members was also key in ensuring statements of condemnation from the European Union, Australia and New Zealand.