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China has failed to live up to its promise to Hong Kong, but Britain must not follow

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When Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, bowed out of the territory for the last time at midnight on July 1, 1997, he departed with the hopeful promise that “now, Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong.”

Twenty-five years later, that dream has been irrevocably dashed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its brutal actions.

Despite a historic pledge to respect Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy” for 50 years following Britain’s return of the territory in 1997, Beijing has systematically breached its commitments to Hong Kong’s freedoms under the legally-binding Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Signed by China and the UK in 1984, the Declaration sought to safeguard Hong Kong’s political, economic, and social fabric under the “one country, two systems” principle.

However, through its imposition of the national security law (NSL) in June 2020 in response to the city’s widespread pro-democracy movement, Beijing has instigated a totalitarian takeover of Hong Kong, marked by fear and repression.

Punishable by up to life imprisonment, the sweeping, draconian security legislation has........

© City A.M.

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