UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reiterates his commitment to the Sino-British Joint Declaration in UK Parliament

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In response to a question by Labour Member of Parliament, Geraint Davies, during a session of oral answers to questions by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson stated that Britain had been ‘absolutely clear’ that the Sino-British ‘Joint Declaration is absolutely valid and operative’.

Geraint Davies MP raised concerns about freedom of expression in Hong Kong and the legality of the recent national anthem law. He said, 

“In Hong Kong, press freedom and the freedom of expression and assembly is guaranteed by article 3.5 of the Sino-British joint declaration, yet last week Beijing basically said it would imprison people for up to three years for booing or disrespecting the Chinese national anthem. President Trump said nothing about that during his visit. What will the Foreign Secretary do to uphold the fundamental values that the United Kingdom is legally obliged to uphold?”

Boris Johnson responded by underlining Britain’s ongoing commitment to the joint declaration. He said that:

“We have made it absolutely clear to our Chinese partners that the joint declaration is absolutely valid and operative, and that one country, two systems, enshrining all the values the hon. Gentleman rightly draws attention to, remains in force.”

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Following the debate, Labour MP Geraint Davies said that,

“Britain has a special responsibility by virtue of its legal and moral obligations to the people of Hong Kong, with whom we share a deep and rich history. Article 3.5 of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a legally binding document at the United Nations, states that the UK must defend freedom of the press, freedom of expression and freedom of Assembly in Hong Kong."

Hong Kong Watch are pleased to see the UK government and Parliamentarians reiterating their commitment to the Sino-British Joint Declaration. 

NewsHong Kong WatchHRAF, WW