Statement by Ambassador Kelly Craft at Today’s UN Security Council Discussion of the Situation in Hong Kong

New York, New York
May 29, 2020

Statement by Ambassador Kelly Craft on Today’s Security Council Discussion of the Situation in Hong Kong

For decades, Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of freedom and enterprise – dynamic, prosperous, and secure. In 1984, the People’s Republic of China made a promise to the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong. It was a binding, solemn promise made in the presence of the international community and registered here at the UN as a formal treaty, that freedom and prosperity in Hong Kong would be respected and safeguarded after the handover.

During today’s Security Council discussion, I urged members to confront the shameful truth – that China’s promise was empty from the start. On May 28, the People’s Republic of China National People’s Congress approved a resolution to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong – an action, along with other incursions over the past year – that destroys Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.

Just as we have all learned during the COVID-19 crisis, at the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, and elsewhere, the PRC abhors transparency and only fulfills its international commitments and obligations when it’s convenient. The PRC’s actions to undermine the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law eviscerate the free society that has underpinned Hong Kong’s success since 1997, and are part and parcel of this larger, unfortunate pattern of behavior.

Today I asked the Council one simple question: are we going to take the honorable stand to defend the human rights and the dignified way of life that millions of Hong Kong citizens have enjoyed and deserve like all freedom loving people, or are we going to allow the Chinese Communist Party to violate international law and force its will on the people of Hong Kong who look to us to preserve their way of life and their freedoms?

The United States is resolute, and calls upon all UN members states to join us in demanding that the PRC immediately reverse course and honor its international legal commitments to this institution and to the Hong Kong people.