China criticised by U.K. for violating Sino-British Declaration
Britain’s foreign secretary on Saturday criticised China for violating the Sino-British Joint Declaration as Beijing further tightens control over Hong Kong.
British and Chinese authorities signed the agreement in 1984, paving the way for Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997. The agreement stipulated that the former British colony would retain a high degree of autonomy and its civil rights and freedoms for at least 50 years.
The U.K. and U.S. criticised China Thursday when its ceremonial legislature endorsed the Communist Party’s move to reduce the role of Hong Kong voters in picking the territory’s lawmakers and ensure ‘patriots’ rule the city.
It is the latest in a series of policies responding to sometimes-violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong that plunged the city into crisis in 2019. Beijing last year imposed a national security law on the city and since then dozens of pro-democracy figures have been arrested and many are in exile.
Chinese officials have said the measures are necessary to prevent secessionist movements and root out any campaign advocating for Hong Kong’s independence.