Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft asking her to consider introducing a United Nations resolution condemning China for its apparent human rights violations in Hong Kong and violations of the 1984 Sino–British Joint Declaration.

Senator Hawley writes, “For five months, Beijing and its proxy chief executive in Hong Kong have been attempting to alter the city’s status and restrict its citizens’ freedoms, in apparent violation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the 1984 Joint Declaration. The Hong Kong executive has authorized violent force against unarmed demonstrators, has radically restricted the right of citizens peaceably to assemble, has intervened in District Council candidate selection, has illegally banned the use of face masks, and repeatedly laid siege to Hong Kong universities.”

The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration is a U.N.-filed treaty signed by then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang. The treaty guaranteed Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms under the “one country, two systems” formula.

Senator Hawley continues, “To protect the lives of those advocating for their basic liberties, I believe the time has come to consider introducing a United Nations resolution to condemn and hold accountable the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for its apparent treaty violations. In addition, I believe we should consider asking the United Nations’ Committee Against Torture, which reviewed the Chinese government’s treatment of protesters during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, to investigate Beijing and its proxies’ current treatment of protestors in Hong Kong.”

Senator Hawley is an original cosponsor of the newly passed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and recently traveled to Hong Kong to observe the pro-democracy protests. Following his trip to Hong Kong, Senator Hawley gave a floor speech in support of the protestors and introduced the Hong Kong Be Water Act to hold Beijing accountable for its attacks on Hongkongers’ basic rights.

Read Senator Hawley’s full letter here or below.


November 20, 2019

Ambassador Kelly Craft
Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations
United States Mission to the United States
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

Dear Ambassador Craft,

I write with regard to the urgent and worsening situation in Hong Kong. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “the Chinese Communist Party must honor its promises to the Hong Kong people, who only want the freedoms and liberties that they have been promised in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-filed treaty.”

He is precisely correct. The 1984 Joint Declaration and not the whims of Beijing controls the status of Hong Kong and determines its citizens’ rights. But I share the Secretary’s concern that China may not be abiding by its commitments. For five months, Beijing and its proxy chief executive in Hong Kong have been attempting to alter the city’s status and restrict its citizens’ freedoms, in apparent violation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the 1984 Joint Declaration. The Hong Kong executive has authorized violent force against unarmed demonstrators, has radically restricted the right of citizens peaceably to assemble, has intervened in District Council candidate selection, has illegally banned the use of face masks, and repeatedly laid siege to Hong Kong universities.

For its part, Beijing has been clear that it no longer regards the Joint Declaration as binding, despite this instrument’s status in international law. In 2017, the Chinese Foreign Ministry dismissed the Joint Declaration “as a historical document, no longer has any practical significance, and it is not at all binding for the central government’s management over Hong Kong.” Beijing’s actions in recent weeks reflects this disregard for its international commitments.

To protect the lives of those advocating for their basic liberties, I believe the time has come to consider introducing a United Nations resolution to condemn and hold accountable the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for its apparent treaty violations. In addition, I believe we should consider asking the United Nations’ Committee Against Torture, which reviewed the Chinese government’s treatment of protesters during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, to investigate Beijing and its proxies’ current treatment of protestors in Hong Kong.

Thank you for your tireless work on behalf of the United States. I look forward to discussing these and other potential measures with you further.

Yours Sincerely,

Josh Hawley
United States Senator