We’re a group of concerned Hongkongers. Today, on the first day of Boris Johnson’s premiership, we are calling for the UK’s new Prime Minister to stand up for freedom in Hong Kong. We believe it is in Britain’s national interest that the declaration signed by Prime Minister Thatcher in 1984 with the Chinese is upheld and that it is shown to the world that Britain keeps her promises.
In 1984, Margaret Thatcher travelled to Beijing to sign the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Thatcher’s deal with Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang was simple – Hong Kong would be returned from British rule in 1997 at the end of the UK’s 99 year lease – but the fundamental freedoms that had created an economic powerhouse on the peninsula would remained untouched for a minimum period of 50 years. Those freedoms included the capitalist economic model, the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and the rule of law overseen by an independent judiciary that, to this day, continues to use British judges and legal expertise. It is this freedom that has made Hong Kong near unique in the region. Continue reading