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Hong Kong: Politics and Government

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 160803, tabled on 1 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Hong Kong.

Answered on

9 March 2021

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the situation in Hong Kong and has declared two breaches of the Joint Declaration in the last nine months. In response to the imposition of the National Security Law on 1 July 2020, the Government put in place a new bespoke immigration path for British Nationals Overseas passport holders (BN(O)s), suspended our extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and extended our arms embargo on mainland China to Hong Kong. On 13 November, the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress issued a decision that removed elected pro-democracy legislators arbitrarily from their positions in Hong Kong's Legislative Council. The FCDO Permanent Under-Secretary summoned the Chinese Ambassador to explain why this was a further breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and to call on China to uphold its international obligations.

The recent decision by the authorities in Hong Kong to charge 47 Hong Kong politicians and activists for conspiracy to commit subversion under the National Security Law is another deeply disturbing step. It demonstrates in the starkest way the use of the law to stifle any political dissent, rather than restore security which was the claimed intention of the legislation. The National Security Law violates the Joint Declaration, and its use in this way contradicts the promises made by the Chinese government and can only further undermine confidence that it will keep its word on such sensitive issues. We continue to bring together our international partners to stand up for the people of Hong Kong, to call out the violation of their freedoms, and to hold China to its international obligations.