31 January 1997
Democratic Party Chairman
and Legislator Sin Chung Kai
Meet Top European Officials and Over 200 Parliamentarians in Europe
During the first week of their 9-city European speaking tour, Democratic
Party Chairman Martin Lee and legislator Sin Chung Kai held meetings with over
200 parliamentarians at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and the European
Parliament in Brussels.
The Democratic Party legislators met the top leaders of the Council of
Europe, including the Secretary General Daniel Tarschys and the President of
the Assembly, Leni Fischer. The
Council of Europe set up in 1949 to defend human rights, the rule of law and
democracy – has 281 members from 40 countries, including Russia.
All members are themselves elected legislators from their home
In Brussels today, Martin Lee and Sin Chung Kai met top European Commission
officials, including Sir Leon Brittan, the Vice-President of Commission, the
Secretary General of the Parliament and the President of the Foreign affairs
Committee, Tom Spencer. They
addressed separate meetings of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs
Committee and large groups of members of European Parliamentarians from all
major political parties. They
also separately addressed the Belgium Parliament's Foreign Affairs
Committee, which will send a delegation to Hong Kong in March.
Sir Leon Brittan assured Martin Lee that: "the future of Hong Kong is not
just a British interest, but a European one", adding that "China should
appreciate that we have a very strong interest in maintaining Hong Kong as a
free system. We will be doing
everything we can to help Hong Kong maintain its distinct society."
Martin Lee commented:
"I was pleased and
surprised at the level of knowledge and concern about Hong Kong in the Council
of Europe and the European Parliament. The
Parliamentarians were all aware of the latest developments in Hong
Kong, including China's appointment of the Provisional Legislature and the
proposed emasculation of the Bill of Rights,
The Parliamentarians indicted they are monitoring Hong Kong closely and
that they will continue to do so. "I
proposed that European governments have a clear economic and political
interest in keeping Hong Kong’s rule of law, level playing field and
freedom. Everyone we have met
thus far has agreed."
Tomorrow Martin Lee will meet
the Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Erik Derycke at 5:00pm.