UK says China breached Sino-British Joint Declaration

The UK said China is in breach of Sino-British Joint Declaration after four Hong Kong legislators were disqualified from membership of the country’s legislative council.

“Beijing’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong constitutes a clear breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement on Thursday.

Hong Kong on Wednesday disqualified four lawmakers from the region’s Legislative Council (LegCo) after China issued a go-ahead notice.

The disqualified pro-democracy lawmakers, who sit on opposition benches, include Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Kwok Ka-ki, and Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong.

China’s top legislature issued a constitutional structure for disqualifying, what state-run Chinese daily Global Times said, “unpatriotic LegCo lawmakers.”

The move also empowered the local Hong Kong government to bypass local courts.

Raab said: “China has once again broken its promises and undermined Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.”

“The UK will stand up for the people of Hong Kong, and call out violations of their rights and freedoms,” he added.

“With our international partners, we will hold China to the obligations it freely assumed under international law.”

The decision to disqualify the lawmakers by local Hong Kong government came after a resolution passed by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee stated the said lawmakers would “immediately lose their seats if they were ruled to have promoted or supported the notion of Hong Kong independence, refused to endorse the country’s resumption of sovereignty over the city, sought foreign forces to meddle in the city’s affairs or engaged in acts that jeopardize national security.”

A statement by the Hong Kong government yesterday said: “Once confirmed in accordance with the law, [they] would lose their Legislative Council member qualification immediately.”

Source: Anadolu Agency