UK says ‘little doubt’ China failing to adjust to Handover deal, as Hong Kong slams ‘interference’

UK says 'no doubt' China failing to comply with Handover deal, as Hong Kong slams 'interference'

The Hong Kong authorities has mentioned it “vehemently refutes the slandering remarks and ill-intentioned political assaults” of a UK authorities report criticising the administration and Beijing for the declining human rights and freedoms within the metropolis.

The six-monthly report, launched on Thursday, detailed political developments in Hong Kong and gave a timeline of “vital developments” between January and June final 12 months, together with the 2022 Chief Govt Election, in addition to the arrests of the trustees of defunct protester aid fund 612 Humanitarian Reduction Fund.

UK’s six-monthly report on Hong Kong printed on January 12, 2023. Photograph: UK Gov, through screenshot.

The UK authorities criticised Chinese language and Hong authorities for “undermining the rights and freedoms promised to Hong Kongers beneath the Sino-British Be a part of Declaration,” and wrote that the town’s autonomy was “declining.”

There was “little doubt” that Beijing was “failing to conform” with the joint declaration, which was signed in 1984, based on the British authorities. The treaty outlined preparations of Hong Kong’s Handover to China and listed rules together with the One Nation, Two Techniques mannequin of governance, which guarantees the town a excessive diploma of autonomy.

The report additionally mentioned that the “chilling impact” of the Beijing-imposed nationwide safety regulation, which was enacted in June 2020, “seeps into all facets of society.”

Scores of pro-democracy activists have been arrested beneath the regulation. Civil society teams and unbiased information retailers have additionally disbanded, citing the laws that critics say has been weaponised to suppress opposition within the metropolis. Authorities, nonetheless, preserve that the regulation has restored order in Hong Kong.

“Freedoms are being systematically eroded by Beijing on a number of fronts, tightening the restrictions on the lives of peculiar Hong Kongers,” the report learn.

Photograph: Lea Mok/HKFP.

The UK authorities mentioned it might “work constructively” with Chief Govt John Lee the place potential, however “will choose the Hong Kong authorities primarily based on its actions.”

The Hong Kong authorities, in an announcement printed on Thursday evening, mentioned it urged the UK to “respect the essential norms governing worldwide relations and cease interfering within the affairs of the HKSAR.”

‘Mutual respect’

In response to the UK’s indication that it might work with Lee, the Hong Kong administration mentioned that it already maintained ties with completely different international locations and areas, on the premise of “mutual respect of the ‘one nation, two techniques’ precept and to not smear or slander the profitable utility of such precept nor intervene with the affairs of the HKSAR.”

The Commissioner’s Workplace of China’s International Ministry in Hong Kong additionally hit again on the UK report, and mentioned it “strongly condemned” the British authorities for smearing the nationwide safety regulation and the town’s electoral system, and “unreasonably slandered worldwide authorized rules and primary guidelines of worldwide relations.”

Chief Govt John Lee. Photograph: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

The workplace additionally mentioned that the UK authorities was “interfering in and destroying” Hong Kong’s rule of regulation, and that the report made the world “see clearly [the UK’s] hypocrisy and double requirements.”

“The UK mentioned that they’re defending the rule of regulation, however they use their ‘spell’ each half a 12 months, and play the ‘choose card’ and the ‘BNO card’ to intervene with Hong Kong affairs, even interfering and destroying Hong Kong’s rule of regulation,” the workplace’s assertion on Thursday evening learn.

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