• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 9:21am
Beijing White Paper 2014
NewsHong Kong

UK will mobilise global community if China breaches ‘one country, two systems’: Nick Clegg

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 1:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 July, 2014, 12:37pm


  • Yes: 24%
  • No: 76%
17 Jul 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 491

Britain will honour its 1984 pledge to "mobilise the international community and pursue every legal and other avenue available" if China breaches the agreement vowing "one country, two systems" for Hong Kong.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was quoted as telling ex-chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang and Democratic Party founding chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming this during their current visit to the UK.

A press release issued yesterday by Chan's think tank Hong Kong 2020 said Clegg had told the pair he was aware of the anxiety caused by Beijing's white paper on Hong Kong last month.

Watch: Anson Chan slams Britain's latest report on Hong Kong in UK Parliament

The meeting drew a strong rebuke from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, with China issuing a complaint to Britain. "The Chinese side urges the British side to truly respect China's position and concern [and] ... immediately stop its interference in Hong Kong's affairs," spokesman Hong Lei said.

The white paper, which emphasised Beijing's "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong, was viewed by critics as going against the promise of a high degree of autonomy in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Clegg told Chan and Lee that Prime Minister David Cameron had stressed Britain's commitment to the agreement in Beijing in December and when Premier Li Keqiang visited London last month.

At the time, Lee called Cameron "very irresponsible" for not publicly speaking up for Hong Kong during Li's visit.

"Clegg affirmed that … if China breached the 1984 treaty it signed with Britain on the handover of Hong Kong, Britain would mobilise the international community and pursue every legal and other avenue available," the press release said.

But City University political scientist Joseph Cheng Yu-shek said there was "very little that London can do through international legal channels", because dispute resolution was not mentioned in the 1984 declaration.

Chan and Lee also told the British Parliament's foreign affairs committee yesterday of concerns that Britain's latest report on Hong Kong did not express a view on the white paper.

Chairman Richard Ottaway promised the committee would decide whether the report was "accurate or missing out something".


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This article is now closed to comments

Well, it's about time!!! :-)
As a signatory to the agreement, Great Britain has every legal right to oversee the situation and follow up on continuing developments.
the brits are certainly a funny bunch... they never let hk have universal suffrage when they ruled this place... now they are threatening to **** to the universe if beijing doesn't achieve it... what a joke
if the UK gov't really care about HK, why doesn't she provide citizenship to HKers in the UK?
And this article used wrong word in describing the Handover, it should use "Return", not "transfer" HK to China.
Yeah, Some idiots (or possibly Wumao) says "The British government should realize by now that HK is no longer a British colony." -- Well UK still has it says and responsibility due to the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
Wow. That's the first time Nick Clegg has done something useful since he entered the disastrous coalition with David Cowardon. Thanks Nick. Better late than never.
Has China interfered with HK's government in any way?
Comprehensive jurisdiction just states China has overall authority over HK but does not have anything to do with HK' s daily operations.
The agreement of one country, two systems is good for 50 years.
HK does not need China to know it needs reform as the income gap between rich and poor has reached obscene proportion.
England is used to such giant gaps with the aristocracy having hefty income while the poor has barely a safety net full of holes.
Perhaps It is time for England to practice some income equality and advise HK to do so too.
HAHAHA! What on EARTH can these clowns mobilize?
Quit saying British had no right to say anything
The British government is the Cosigner of the Sino-British Declaration in 1984, it has both the obligation and right to see the document is followed through by the Chinese.
The Sino-British Declaration in 1984 is also a document recognized by the United Nations (and the 193 member states). So literally every country on earth had the right to see the document is followed through.
Honestly there are some things that bother me about this whole deal.
1. As John Adams says 'they had 150 years to do something about democracy in Hong Kong but never did a thing.
2. The previous geo-political situation called for Western countries to try and contain the PRC and other communist countries - what the Vietnam and Korean Wars were all about. The UK held HK for so long after off-loading its other colonies because of its strategic position to the mainland. Not because they loved Hong Kong people or because of a chance to make money - these were just by products. The UK never cared about HK or HK people.
3. Martin Lee and Anson Chan are now only ever heard of when visiting overseas countries. They are not part of the current Hong Kong political environment.
4. In the UK only a bit part player - Clegg - can be found to voice support for the democrats.
5. In Hong Kong we have the same freedoms as we have always had, but maybe more political power for Hong Kongers than was enjoyed under the British.
“mobilise the international community ..”, yeah right, remind me when was the last time anyone paid any attention to what uk says? and you nearly lost your whole constituency map to ukip didn't you nick?



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