Thirty five years ago today, on 19 December 1984, the Governments of the United Kingdom and China reached an agreement on the question of Hong Kong. The Sino British Joint Declaration, as it is known, was registered with the UN on 12 June 1985 as a legally-binding international treaty that remains in force today.
Commenting on the anniversary, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
This agreement between the UK and China made clear that Hong Kong’s high-degree of autonomy, rights and freedoms would remain unchanged for 50 years. The undertakings made by China, including the right to freedom of expression, an independent judiciary and the rule of law are essential to Hong Kong’s prosperity and way of life.
Hong Kong is experiencing its greatest period of turmoil since the handover. As a co-signatory of the Joint Declaration, the UK takes these commitments seriously and supports their implementation through the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework. The only way to guarantee Hong Kong’s future success and stability is by respecting these and addressing the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong through meaningful political dialogue.