The UK, Australia, Canada and the US on Thursday expressed “deep concern” on Beijing’s resolution to impose a nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong on Thursday.
In a joint assertion signed by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, and United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, the 4 international locations responded to China’s resolution.
“Signatories to this statement reiterate our deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong,” the assertion mentioned.
China on Thursday handed a brand new nationwide safety legislation for Hong Kong set to rein within the semi-autonomous area after months of protests final yr.
At the concluding session of the National People’s Congress, China’s high legislative physique, the draft of the Hong Kong nationwide safety laws was formally adopted.
Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous area beneath China since 1997, final yr witnessed protests towards the move to legalize extradition to mainland China.
Describing Hong Kong “a bastion of freedom,” the assertion mentioned the “international community has a significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”
“Direct imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by the Beijing authorities, rather than through Hong Kong’s own institutions as provided for under Article 23 of the Basic Law, would curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous,” it added.
Conflict with worldwide obligations
It underlined that the choice to impose the brand new nationwide safety legislation on Hong Kong “lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally-binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration,” and it could “undermine the One Country, Two Systems framework.”
China’s new nationwide safety legislation “also raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes, and undermines existing commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people – including those set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,” based on the assertion.
The assertion mentioned: “We are additionally extraordinarily involved that this motion will exacerbate the present deep divisions in Hong Kong society; the legislation does nothing to construct mutual understanding and foster reconciliation inside Hong Kong. Rebuilding belief throughout Hong Kong society by permitting the folks of Hong Kong to benefit from the rights and freedoms they have been promised may be the one means again from the tensions and unrest that the territory has seen during the last yr.
“The world’s concentrate on a world pandemic requires enhanced belief in governments and worldwide cooperation. Beijing’s unprecedented move dangers having the other impact. As Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity are jeopardised by the brand new imposition, we name on the Government of China to work with the Hong Kong SAR Government and the folks of Hong Kong to discover a mutually acceptable lodging that can honour China’s worldwide obligations beneath the UN-filed Sino-British Joint Declaration.”
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