By Anne Marie Roantree
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Beijing has damaged its authorized obligations by undermining Hong Kong’s excessive diploma of autonomy and used a nationwide safety regulation to “drastically curtail freedoms” within the international monetary hub, in line with a report by Britain on its former colony.
In a foreword within the six-monthly report masking July-December 2020, British Overseas Minister Dominic Raab mentioned a sweeping nationwide safety regulation Beijing imposed on the town in June final 12 months was getting used to stifle political opposition.
There had been “clear breaches” of the 1984 Joint Declaration, signed by then Chinese language Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that assured wide-ranging freedoms for Hong Kong, Raab mentioned.
The report criticised Beijing’s overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system, prosecution selections made by the Division of Justice and the contentious safety regulation.
“We now have subsequently now declared China to be in a state of ongoing non-compliance with the Joint Declaration,” Raab mentioned, including that the nationwide safety regulation was not getting used to focus on a small group of criminals, as said by Beijing.
“Moderately it’s getting used to drastically curtail the house for the expression of other political beliefs and deter freedom of expression and legit political debate,” he mentioned within the assertion launched on Thursday.
The Hong Kong authorities hit again at what it described as “inaccurate remarks” that might not be “farther from the reality and are clearly double requirements”.
“Any goal particular person will see that for the reason that implementation of the Hong Kong nationwide safety regulation, stability, which is significant to enterprise actions, has been restored to society and nationwide safety has been safeguarded,” a Hong Kong authorities spokesperson mentioned.
Beijing imposed a nationwide safety regulation on Hong Kong in June that punishes what authorities broadly outline as secession, sedition and collusion with overseas forces with as much as life in jail, following a 12 months of generally violent demonstrations.
Western governments and worldwide human rights teams have expressed concern the regulation will crush freedoms in Hong Kong.
Britain, which dominated Hong Kong for over 150 years till it handed it again to China in 1997, has mentioned the safety regulation was a breach of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration that paved the way in which for the handover.
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