The UK takes extremely seriously its longstanding duty to uphold the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. It is a legally binding treaty, registered with the UN, and remains in force until 2047. It is important that the basic freedoms enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration are maintained. All rights and principles in that agreement have to be respected, not just by Hong Kong but by the Chinese authorities as well.
The Foreign Secretary raised Hong Kong, and the importance of the Joint Declaration, with Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi on 31 July. He also spoke to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on 9 August, when he noted the UK's support for Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, and its commitment to 'One Country, Two Systems'. The Prime Minister also discussed developments in Hong Kong with other leaders at the recent G7 Summit.
The Foreign Secretary has raised his concerns about police behaviour with both the Chinese Foreign Minister and the Chief Executive. In relation to the conduct of the Hong Kong Police, it is important to recognise some of the violence on the ground that they have to deal with. However, in relation to disproportionate actions and overreactions it is very clear. The Independent Police Complaints Council is carrying out an inquiry. International observers will look to see that is credible, and commands the trust of the people of Hong Kong.
The UK will continue to monitor closely events in Hong Kong, speaking publicly on issues of concern.
Last reviewed October 2019