LONDON (Reuters) – China has betrayed the individuals of Hong Kong so the West ought to cease kowtowing to Beijing for an illusory nice pot of gold, mentioned Chris Patten, the final governor of the former British colony.
FILE PHOTO: Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten attends an interview in Hong Kong, China September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Beijing is ready to impose new nationwide safety laws on Hong Kong after a sustained marketing campaign of pro-democracy protests final yr within the metropolis, which enjoys many freedoms not allowed on mainland China.
“The Hong Kong people have been betrayed by China,” Patten was quoted as saying by The Times newspaper. Britain has a “moral, economic and legal” obligation to face up for Hong Kong, he mentioned.
Patten watched because the British flag was lowered over Hong Kong when the colony was handed again to China in 1997 after greater than 150 years of British rule.
Hong Kong’s autonomy was assured underneath the “one country, two systems” settlement precept enshrined within the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by then Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
But China’s plans to impose nationwide safety legal guidelines on Hong Kong threat destroying the Declaration, Patten mentioned. The United States has branded the legal guidelines a “death knell” for the town’s autonomy.
“What we are seeing is a new Chinese dictatorship,” Patten mentioned. “The British government should make it clear that what we are seeing is a complete destruction of the Joint Declaration.”
Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam mentioned her authorities will “fully cooperate” with the Chinese parliament to safeguard nationwide safety, which she mentioned wouldn’t have an effect on rights, freedoms or judicial independence.
Patten mentioned the West ought to cease chasing the illusory promise of Chinese gold.
“We should stop being fooled that somehow at the end of the all the kowtowing there’s this great pot of gold waiting for us. It’s always been an illusion,” Patten mentioned.
“We keep on kidding ourselves that unless we do everything that China wants we will somehow miss out on great trading opportunities. It’s drivel.”
The British authorities didn’t instantly touch upon Saturday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman mentioned on Friday the federal government was monitoring the state of affairs and as a celebration to the Joint Declaration the UK was dedicated to the upholding Hong Kong’s autonomy and respecting the one nation, two programs mannequin.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge. Editing by Jane Merriman