Despite an effort by British MPs to ‘review’ the implementation of the handover agreement, the Foreign Commonwealth Office’s non-committal statement suggests there is little hope that the current British administration will intervene or ‘police’ its 1984 Joint Declaration with Beijing.
The statement is in contrast to a stronger response from the US…
In April, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and British Prime Minster David Cameron signed £14-billion worth of trade deals.
UK Trade and Investment said there had been more inward investment from China in the UK economy in the past 18 months than in the previous 30 years, with £8-billion spent in 2013-4.
Former HK Chief Secretary Anson Chan has previously said that Britain had a ‘moral responsibility’ to stand up for the territory. In a column for the Financial Times today, ex-Hong Kong governor Chris Patten also stated that “…the UK has a continuing moral and political obligation to ensure that China respects its commitments… Failure to do as we pledged would clearly be dishonourable.”
The local government responded to the comments, emphasising that Hong Kong’s constitutional development is an “internal affair”…
This evening’s news comes despite a statement made by ex-British Prime Minister John Major in 1996 that Britain would “mobilise the international community” if there was a breach in the Joint Declaration.