The following is a translation of the official announcement made by the French presidential party “La République en Marche” regarding the political crisis in Hong Kong.
On Sunday 18 August, 1.7 millions of Hong Kong citizens demonstrated peacefully for freedom and democracy. This number is remarkable. This is about 30% of Hong Kong people over 15 years old. This massive, firm and peaceful demonstration is historical and can not be ignored.
This brings us back to our own history and our values, but also universal hopes of citizens struggling for democracy and public freedoms. How could we remain insensitive regarding such issues for which the European Union has often been the spearhead? Our democracy has been founded on the belief that human rights are universal and not a prerogative. They are not the privilege of the Western world.
We welcome the positions taken by the President of the French Republic, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Head of European Diplomacy, calling on all parties to renew dialogue, to avoid escalating violence and to respect the rule of law.
We stand with the Chinese people and believe that democracy has its place in Chinese culture. China must not be reluctant to hopes for freedom and its manifestation among the people. People and nations have always become stronger through development of democracy and freedom. Dialogue must prevail over violence for the good of both sides.
We recall our deep attachment to the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 and to the Basic Law of 1990, planning to develop Hong Kong’s democratic experience and establishing the universal suffrage. The principle of “one country, two systems” has allowed a dynamic political and democratic experience in Hong Kong that must be further developed.
We express these beliefs without any wish of interfering. We won’t give any lecture to anyone since our own democracy could certainly improve, but we shall open a friendly dialogue with China on these issues, through the European Union. We will share our experiences and progress altogether.
Translated from French by Jean-Sébastien Desnanot.
Find the original in French here.