China ‘breaks promise’ made to Margaret Thatcher in controversial new security law

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Joshua Wong, the secretary-general of Demosisto, a Hong Kong-based pro-democracy group, said China’s proposal would throw into disarray the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1984. The treaty was meant to determine Hong Kong’s future, with Beijing and London agreeing that the Chinese would resume control of the island city in 1997. The agreement stipulated that Hong Kong would continue to enjoy a high degree of autonomy and it’s legal and judicial system would remain unchanged for 50 years after 1997.

Mrs Thatcher signed the document on behalf of her Conservative Government along with the then-Chinese Premier Zhao Zhiyang.

Beijing has been hit with a backlash for proposing national security laws which could see Chinese security agencies set up in Hong Kong.

Mr Wong told Sky New the proposed new law would pave the way for “one country, one system”.

He said: “China broke the promise of the Sino-UK declaration.”

Mr Wong said “we are just asking for free elections” as he condemned Beijing’s attempt to tighten its grip on what is currently the country’s freest city.

Activists in the global financial hub on Friday called for citizens to rise up against the proposal.

China’s proposed law is aimed at tackling secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign interference.

According to a draft decision, the law would allow the Chinese Government to establish “security organs” in Hong Kong.

The idea has sent jitters across the business and diplomatic communities.

Foreign diplomats fear establishing new Beijing agencies in the Chinese-ruled city could give mainland security and intelligence officers enforcement powers that could potentially put rights and freedoms at risk.

A university student in the city who gave her name as Kay said she planned to join the protests, having taken part in last year’s widespread demonstrations.

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The 24-year-old said: “This is a great moment to reboot the protest.”

The security law plan hit financial markets on Friday, due to concerns the semi-autonomous city’s status as a financial hub was at risk.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will “fully cooperate” with the Chinese parliament to complete the legislation/

She said the proposed legislation will not affect rights, freedoms nor judicial independence.

The controversial proposal could exacerbate tensions between Washington and Beijing.

US President Donald Trump warned that his Government would react “very strongly” if Beijing went ahead with the security law.

Over the past few weeks, he has blasted China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposed legislation for Hong Kong requires the territory to quickly finish enacting national security regulations under its mini-constitution, the Basic law, according to a draft.

The document said the laws will safeguard the central government’s “overall jurisdiction” as well as Hong Kong’s “high autonomy”.

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