Date
11 December 2017
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) and his British counterpart, David Cameron, are expected to witness the signing of a raft of agreements worth US$30 billion. Photos: Bloomberg, Express.co.uk
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) and his British counterpart, David Cameron, are expected to witness the signing of a raft of agreements worth US$30 billion. Photos: Bloomberg, Express.co.uk

Will Britain give up HK ‘two systems’ for US$30 bln?

China and Britain are working on a document that will show London approves of the state of affairs in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover, Apple Daily reported Tuesday, citing sources from the Chinese foreign affairs ministry.

The document is tied to about US$30 billion in deals expected to be signed by the two governments during the upcoming visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the report said.

Retired legislator Martin Lee, a former member of the Basic Law drafting committee, warned that any attempt to attach Hong Kong to the agreements is tantamount to selling out its people.  

He accused China of muzzling world public opinion after it issued a white paper asserting complete control over Hong Kong and stressing that Beijing is the source of its promised high degree of autonomy.

Lee cited Washington’s position on the matter which states the United States supports the “one country, two systems” principle of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, Apple Daily said.

Hong Kong politicians said Hong Kong’s autonomy enshrined in the Basic Law is under threat after Beijing “twisted” the definition of “one country, two systems”.

Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to Britain, said more than 40 agreements will be signed in a variety of sectors including energy, investments, high technology and financing, state news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.

Separately, former British deputy prime minister John Prescott told BBC that London is keen to attract Chinese investment to bolster the economy.

Prescott said Britain’s private sector cannot invest enough to boost the economy. Relying on property development growth will lead to an asset bubble again, he was quoted as saying.

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