‘One Country, Two Systems’ under increasing pressure, says UK report

Local | 14 Sep 2017 9:03 pm

The UK can not ignore that important areas of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework are coming under increasing pressure, although it has generally functioned well, the British Government said today in its half-yearly report to Parliament.

The report by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office also urges universal suffrage "within the parameters of the Basic Law.'' The report covers a range of political and economic developments and offers an overview of UK-Hong Kong bilateral activity. (Pictured, thousands poured on to the

streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, August 20 to demand the release of jailed pro-democracy activists)

But Hong Kong, rejected the report as interference.

"Since the return to the motherland, the HKSAR has been exercising a high degree of autonomy and 'Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong' in strict accordance with the Basic Law. This demonstrates the full and successful implementation of the 'one country, two systems' principle, which has been widely recognised by the international community. Foreign governments should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of the HKSAR," a statement said.

"We judge that ‘One Country, Two Systems’ has generally functioned well since 1997. We can look back at Hong Kong’s significant achievements over the last 20 years since the handover, and look forward to many more in the years to come. However, at the same time, we cannot ignore that important areas of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework are coming under increasing pressure,'' Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, said in his foreword.

It remains the UK Government’s view that, for Hong Kong’s future success, it is essential that Hong Kong enjoys, and is seen to enjoy, the full measure of its high degree of autonomy and rule of law as set out in the Joint Declaration and enshrined in the Basic Law, in keeping with the commitment to ‘One Country, Two Systems,' the report says.

The UK Government also believes that renewed dialogue on political reform would further support stability and prosperity in Hong Kong, it says.

Johnson says that the Joint Declaration remains a legally binding treaty registered with the UN, and the UK Government is committed to monitoring its implementation closely.

The UK Government’s view is that respect for Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and rule of law remain key to its success, the report says.

"We continue to take the view that the best way to secure the long-term future of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is through a transition to universal suffrage which meets the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong, within the parameters of the Basic Law. Our view on Hong Kong independence remains as before: that independence is not a realistic option for Hong Kong and that the notion of a Hong Kong independent from China undermines the concept of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. -The Standard

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