Date
20 August 2017
Britain is under growing pressure to stake a stronger stand on issues related to Hong Kong’s political and social development. Photo: HKEJ, bbc.co.hk
Britain is under growing pressure to stake a stronger stand on issues related to Hong Kong’s political and social development. Photo: HKEJ, bbc.co.hk

UK to examine its role in Hong Kong political development

UK’s parliament is launching an inquiry to determine what role Britain should play in Hong Kong’s social and political development, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Pressure has mounted in recent months on the former colonial power to take a more aggressive position as the Hong Kong public steps up fight for universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election, the report noted.

The House of Commons’ foreign affairs committee is now said to be accepting submissions for an inquiry titled “The U.K.’s relations with Hong Kong: 30 years after the Joint Declaration”.

The term “Joint Declaration” refers to the landmark agreement signed in 1984 by Britain and China prior to the handover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997. Under the agreement, Hong Kong was guaranteed a “high degree of autonomy” in domestic affairs.

Last week, leading Hong Kong democrats Anson Chan and Martin Lee flew to the UK to lobby the government to adopt a more assertive stance on Hong Kong’s political future. 

The duo welcomed the news this week that London was planning to launch an inquiry into its relations with Hong Kong, and expressed hope that British officials will also visit Hong Kong to help determine their findings.

The British parliament panel’s findings are due to be released in early 2015, according to the Journal.

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