Netherlands: Letter from Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Falun Gong Foundation

The Hague, January 2003

To Falun Gong Foundation of The Netherlands,

Referring to your letter d.d. December 4th 2002, directed at the Commission for Foreign Affairs of the Second Chamber, concerning the new legislation based on Article 23 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR, I can inform you that the commission has requested me to process your letter.

As mentioned before in reaction to an e-mail message from Mr. P. Houben of Falun Gong Foundation of The Netherlands, the Dutch government follows with great interest the consultation process about this new legislation, which is to determine in which way the national security of the People’s Republic of China in Hong Kong SAR is being secured.

Human rights organisations in and outside of Hong Kong have, just like you, expressed their concerns about the possible effects of this legislation on civil and political freedoms in Hong Kong, on, among others, organisations like Falun Gong. Meanwhile the European Union has, because of the insistence of The Netherlands and others, insisted, in dialogues with the authorities of Hong Kong SAR and in a public statement, on a secure safeguarding of the civil and political freedoms. A copy of this statement can be found in the attachment.


The consultation process has ended on the 24th of December 2002. In the beginning of 2003 the Hong Kong SAR government will offer the draft law concerning the implementation of Article 23, which will be formulated based on the results of the consultation process, to the Legislative Council. The processing of it is expected to take at least half a year. It goes without saying that the Dutch government will bring any possible concerns about the effects of this yet to formulate draft law on civil and political freedoms in Hong Kong SAR, to the attention of the Hong Kong authorities, in case there are reasons to do so.

I will send a copy of this letter to the Commission of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. J.G. de Hoop Scheffer


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