The United Kingdom has condemned China’s decision this Saturday to impose changes on Hong Kong’s electoral system as a “new violation” of the joint declaration of sovereignty they have signed over the former British territory.
In a statement, Foreign Minister Dominic Robb urged the Chinese government to respect “its legal obligations and fundamental rights and freedoms” in Hong Kong.
The agreement between London and Beijing was signed in 1984, before the United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China in 1997, with the aim of provoking fears about the future of the region under the sovereignty of an anti-democratic communist regime.
The agreement guarantees Hong Kong a special financial status and economic independence and autonomy and civil liberties that other parts of China do not have.
According to British Minister Dominic Robb, Beijing’s decision to “impose drastic changes restricting participation in the Hong Kong electoral system” was a “clear violation” of what was agreed between London and Beijing regarding Hong Kong.
Massive pro-democracy protests in 2019 against Beijing’s intervention, some of which were violent in Hong Kong.
Since then, the Chinese government has dismantled the opposition, detained dozens of activists and imposed strict national security laws.
On Thursday, the Chinese parliament paved the way for the imposition of electoral reform on the spot and approved a bill recognizing an “electoral body” subordinate to Beijing, selecting candidates for assembly elections in the autonomous region.
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