Heidi Allen MP has voiced her concern over the current situation in Hong Kong stating “What is happening in Hong Kong is truly a human rights crisis in the making” adding that “we mustn’t allow China to use this as an opportunity to bully us into submission, and relinquish our responsibilities.”
In 1984, the Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to settle the future of Hong Kong. Both Britain and China agreed that China would reassume control of Hong Kong, however, it would retain a high degree of autonomy and their legal and judicial system would remain unchanged for 50 years, after 1997.
Judicial independence was enshrined in the agreement and the current unrest in Hong Kong is undeniably due to the threat the extradition bill poses to Hong Kong’s autonomy. The bill proposes changes that would allow the transfer of criminal suspects to jurisdictions with which Hong Kong does not have fugitive agreements, including mainland China. Hong Kong does not have an existing treaty with China due to the “high autonomy” they were promised for 50 years.
In agreement with Heidi, Labour MP Tom Watson has said that the extradition proposal “clearly breaches that understanding and starts to align Hong Kong’s legal system with that of China.”
Heidi Allen has called for the UK to condemn and consider sanctions against Chinese officials and companies, for not holding up their end of the agreement.