UK Accused China of Breaking its International Treaty Obligations

The United Kingdom government have accused China of breaking its international treaty obligations on November 12, 2020.  This obligation came after four pro-democracy lawmakers were expelled from the legislature of Hong Kong on security grounds.

Highlights

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab have said that the new rules to disqualify elected assembly members is a clear breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration. The statement from the UK side declaired that China has once again broken its promises by undermining the Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.

Background

Britain is the former colonial power in Hong Kong. It usually gets trapped into conflict with China since it imposed a sweeping national security law in the year 2019.

Sino-British Joint Declaration

The Sino-British Joint Declaration is a treaty that was signed between the United Kingdom and China on Hong Kong under Chinese sovereignty. The treaty was Signed on 19 December 1984 in Beijing. This treaty stipulates the sovereign and administrative arrangement of Hong Kong after 1 July 1997.  The Joint Declaration treaty was signed by Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. It came into force on 27 May 1985. With the treaty, the Chinese government declaired to resume the exercise of its sovereignty over Hong Kong from 1 July 1997 while the British Government declared to hand over Hong Kong to China on 1 July 1997.

China’s commitments

Under the agreement, the Chinese government also declared its basic policies regarding Hong Kong in the document. It was decided that in accordance with the “one country, two systems” principle, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) would not practise the socialist system in mainland China. It was also decided that Hong Kong’s existing capitalist system and way of life would be unchanged for 50 years until 2047. These basic policies were written in Hong Kong Basic Law.