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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • UK Foriegn Secretary Dominic Raab added that the 1984 Joint Declaration had been clearly breached by the national security law.
  • The law is being used to drastically curtail the freedom to express any alternative political views and also deter freedom of expression and legal political debate.
  • The Hong Kong government hit back at the report and described it as an “inaccurate remarks”.

Britain informed that Beijing has undermined the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong and broken its legal obligations by using a national security law to “drastically curtail freedoms” in Hong Kong.

The British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in the 6-monthly report of July to December of 2020 that Beijing in June of 2020, imposed a sweeping national security law on the city which was used to suppress political opposition.

Raab added that the 1984 Joint Declaration had been clearly breached, which was signed between then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang that guaranteed wide-ranging freedoms for the global financial hub.

Criticizing the overhaul of Beijing of the electoral system of Hong Kong, the contentious security law and prosecution decisions of the Department of Justice, Raab said, “We have, therefore, now declared China to be in a state of ongoing non-compliance with the Joint Declaration.”

He also said that the national security law was not being used to target a small group of criminals, as claimed by Beijing, rather it is being used to drastically curtail the freedom to express any alternative political views and also deter freedom of expression and legal political debate.

The Hong Kong government hit back at the report and described it as an “inaccurate remarks” that could not be “further from the truth and are clearly double standards”.

A Hong Kong government spokesperson said that since the implementation of the Hong Kong national security law, any objective person will see stability has been restored to society, which is crucial to business activities and national security has been safeguarded.

In June, Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong that punishes authorities broadly defined as sedition, secession and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in jail, sometimes violent demonstrations.

Regarding the law in Hong Kong, international human rights groups and western governments have expressed concern that it will crush freedoms in Hong Kong.

For over 150 years, Britain ruled Hong Kong and in 1997, it handed it back to China. The UK has said the security law breached the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration that paved the way for the handover.

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