The Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law
The Sino-British Joint Declaration was a binding international treaty registered at the United Nations. It dictates that, under the Basic Law, Hong Kong would enjoy a high degree of autonomy, and that its way of life would not change for fifty years, with a gradual shift to a higher level of democracy. We will direct your attention to the following excerpts:
‘The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China shall enact and promulgate a Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Basic Law) in accordance with the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, stipulating that after the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region the socialist system and socialist policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and that Hong Kong's previous capitalist system and life-style shall remain unchanged for 50 years.'
'The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be directly under the authority of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China and shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy. Except for foreign and defence affairs which are the responsibilities of the Central People's Government, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be vested with executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication. The Central People's Government shall authorise the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to conduct on its own those external affairs specified in Section XI of this Annex.’
‘The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government shall protect the rights and freedoms of inhabitants and other persons in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region according to law. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government shall maintain the rights and freedoms as provided for by the laws previously in force in Hong Kong, including freedom of the person, of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, to form and join trade unions, of correspondence, of travel, of movement, of strike, of demonstration, of choice of occupation, of academic research, of belief, inviolability of the home, the freedom to marry and the right to raise a family freely.’
China had on more than one occasion, declared unilaterally the treaty is 'historical' and 'unsubstantial'.
The United Kingdom, on the dignity of being the co-signatory of a binding international treaty, has a moral duty to see to the proper adherence to the treaty.
Join our petition in calling Her Majesty's Government to action.