Dominic Raab has actually implicated China of breaching the legal deal over the governance of Hong Kong, amid criticisms of Beijing’s attempts to tighten its control over the territory.
In a major escalation of diplomatic tensions, the foreign secretary stated the UK thought about China to be in a “state of continuous non-compliance” with the Sino-British joint statement as he condemned Beijing’s decision to minimize the role of the public in selecting Hong Kong’s leaders. China has instead handed power to a pro-Beijing committee, which will appoint more council members.
Raab said the move was the third breach of the lawfully binding joint declaration in less than 9 months and part of a “pattern developed to harass and suppress all voices vital of China’s policies”.
” Beijing’s decision to impose transformations to restrict involvement in Hong Kong’s electoral system constitutes a more clear breach of the lawfully binding Sino-British joint declaration,” he stated.
” The Chinese authorities’ ongoing action means I should now report that the UK thinks about Beijing to be in a state of continuous non-compliance with the joint declaration– a presentation of the growing gulf between Beijing’s pledges and its actions.
” The UK will continue to stand up for the people of Hong Kong. China needs to act in accordance with its legal commitments and respect fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.”
Tensions have actually been growing because China imposed a new national security law in Hong Kong, making it simpler to clamp down on protesters.
The joint declaration was signed by the UK and China in 1984. London has actually insisted it ought to protect Hong Kong’s considerable autonomy and flexibilities.
Raab was backed by foreign ministers from the G7 group of nations. They revealed concerns at the apparent disintegration of democratic aspects in Hong Kong’s electoral system.
” We also call on China and the Hong Kong authorities to bring back self-confidence in Hong Kong’s political institutions and end the baseless oppression of those who promote democratic worths and the defence of rights and liberties,” it stated.
The EU likewise raised concerns on Friday. Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative and vice-president, said that China was “purposely dismantling the ‘one nation, two systems’ principle in infraction of its international dedications and the Hong Kong fundamental law”. Australia and New Zealand have also raised separate issues.
The Hong Kong government has said it strongly opposes remarks questioning China’s willingness to maintain the “one nation, 2 systems”, calling it a “groundless allegation”.