Hong Kong’s mini constitution supplanted a Sino-British treaty on the handover of sovereignty, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Tuesday, citing a pro-Beijing lawyer.
Allan Hoo, chairman of the Basic Law Institute, said Britain’s role was to ensure the principles of the Sino-British Joint Declaration were written into the Basic Law.
That role ended when the Basic Law was enacted, he said.
Loo said a planned visit to Hong Kong by a group British lawmakers to collect evidence on the implementation of the treaty was an interference in China’s internal affairs.
Also, Hoo said there is no reference in the joint declaration to universal suffrage.
Britain has the responsibility to disclose discussions in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, which paved the way for the treaty, to help people understand the background of the Basic Law, Hoo said.
British Conservative politician Richard Ottaway said earlier this month that he had been told by Chinese officials that the treaty had expired.
Last week, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam told lawmakers for the first time that the Sino-British Joint Declaration had completed its mission.
Keeping Hong Kong’s way of life unchanged for 50 years after the return of sovereignty is a unilateral promise by the Chinese government, Tam said.
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