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Sino-British Joint Declaration

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 18819, tabled on 21 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) the UK's and (b) China's obligations under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong are fulfilled; when he plans to publish the six month report on compliance with those obligations between July 2019 and December 2019; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

27 February 2020

The UK takes its commitments as a co-signatory of the Joint Declaration seriously and supports their implementation through the 'One Country, Two Systems' framework.

The Prime Minister wrote to President Xi Jinping on 30 September and underlined the importance of upholding the Joint Declaration.

The Foreign Secretary has set out his concerns about developments in Hong Kong directly to both the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, and to the Chinese Foreign Minister, State Councillor Wang Yi. Senior officials are in frequent contact with their counterparts in Hong Kong, Beijing and London. The Foreign Secretary summoned the Chinese Ambassador on 19 November.

The leadership in China and Hong Kong is in no doubt about the strength of UK concern over the current situation, and our commitment to seeing the rights and freedoms provided for in the Joint Declaration upheld.

The Six Monthly Report to Parliament on Hong Kong, covering the period of June-December, will be published in the Spring in line with usual practice.

In the Foreword to the previous report, the Foreign Secretary has stressed that Hong Kong now needs to look ahead to the path towards de-escalation and political resolution; protester violence must stop; the police response should be proportionate; and there should be a meaningful political dialogue between all parties.

We continue to believe that these are the best ways to protect the rights and freedoms set out in Hong Kong's Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration.