Twenty years after Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty, the implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle in the former British colony is breaking down, according to a report published by a conservative think tank from the United Kingdom.
In its report to Britain’s House of Lords, the Henry Jackson Society Asia Studies Centre said Hong Kong has gone backward in the aspects of civic development, human rights, and judicial rule, Apple Daily reports.
It urged the British government to make representations with Beijing to see to it that the provisions of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, under the “one country, two systems” principle, are upheld in the territory after the handover.
The researchers of the paper include Hugh Davies, a senior UK representative in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group; localist activist Edward Leung Tin-kei, Baptist University professor Dr. Malte Kaeding, and British human rights campaigner Benedict Rogers.
Leung said it is very important to express to Britain the challenges that Hong Kong faces in developing democracy in the territory.
He said under President Xi Jinping, China’s authoritarian rule has become a tyranny, adding that Hong Kong deserves more attention as it is still a window for the West to better understand China.
Davies said the Sino-British Joint Declaration should be binding, and the British government has the responsibility to uphold the international treaty.
John Hemmings, founding director of the Asia Studies Centre, said the British government should join in more discussions about judicial independence and human rights in Hong Kong to better understand the situation in the territory.
Rogers said after working as a journalist in Hong Kong for five years, the denial of his entry to Hong Kong last month is a clear sign that the territory’s autonomy is coming to an end.
He also said the biggest danger is when young people who hold political views that are different from that of the government are imprisoned.
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