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  • Sep 14, 2014
  • Updated: 2:44pm

Universal Suffrage

The Hong Kong Chief Executive election of 2017 will pick the top official of Hong Kong for the fifth term. According to the National People's Congress Standing Committee's resolution in 2007, the election may be implemented by the method of universal suffrage. Pan-democratic lawmakers and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have protested strongly against an election framework passed by Beijing on August 31, 2014, saying it fails to reach international standards for a truly democratic and open election. They have vowed to veto it in the Legislative Council and organise a series of street protests known as Occupy Central.

NewsHong Kong

Britain moves to defuse tensions with Beijing over Hong Kong’s political reform

Statement makes no mention of 1984 joint declaration, which stipulated that Hong Kong should enjoy extensive autonomy under the "one country, two systems" principle

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 September, 2014, 11:26pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 9:17am


  • Better: 36%
  • Worse: 25%
  • No change: 37%
  • Not sure: 2%
5 Sep 2014
  • Better
  • Worse
  • No change
  • Not sure
Total number of votes recorded: 523

The British government on Thursday said it welcomed Beijing's assurances that it would allow Hong Kong to elect its chief executive through universal suffrage, but failed to mention Britain's treaty obligation outlined in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.

In a statement, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British government said: “We welcome the confirmation that China’s objective is for the election of Hong Kong’s chief executive through universal suffrage,”

“The UK’s position has always been that the detail of the constitutional package is for the governments of Hong Kong and China and the people of Hong Kong to decide in line with the Basic Law,” the statement read.

“While we recognise that there is no perfect model, the important thing is that the people of Hong Kong have a genuine choice and a real stake in the outcome,” the statement continued. “We recognise that the detailed terms that the National People’s Congress has set for the 2017 election will disappoint those who are arguing for a more open nomination process.”

While we recognise that there is no perfect model, the important thing is that the people of Hong Kong have a genuine choice and a real stake in the outcome 
Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office

“We hope that the next period of consultation will produce arrangements which allow a meaningful advance for democracy in Hong Kong, and we encourage all parties to engage constructively in discussion to that end.”

However, the statement made no mention of the 1984 joint declaration, which stipulated that Hong Kong should enjoy extensive autonomy under the "one country, two systems" principle after reunification with the mainland on July 1, 1997.

The response comes two days after Chris Patten, the last colonial governor of Hong Kong, wrote in the Financial Times calling on London to stand up to Beijing as it had a “moral and obligation” to the city, having co-signed the 1984 treaty.

The Chief Executive’s Office hit back at Patten’s comments on Beijing’s reform plan on Thursday, after Beijing loyalist Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai criticised Patten for looking at Hong Kong from a “pre-handover viewpoint”.

On Sunday, the National People's Congress Standing Committee ruled that while Hong Kong could pick its chief executive under "one man, one vote" in 2017, the candidates for the job would be chosen by a 1,200-member nominating committee, which would put forward only two or three who had to win the support of over half its members.

Pan-democrats – who fear only pro-Beijing candidates will be allowed to stand – described the decision as unacceptable, because the nomination threshold was only one-eighth when a 1,200-strong election committee nominated and elected Leung Chun-ying in 2012.


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I agree with Chris Patten that Britain has a "moral obligation" to inquire into the political situation of Hong Kong. But if the purpose of such an inquiry is to find fault with China's implementation of the Joint Declaration, I doubt it will hit the target, since China IS giving to Hong Kong a level of autonomy never before realized under British, Qing, Ming, Yuan, Song dynastic rule.
To ******,
Did a UK lawmaker enter HK with the purpose of conducting the inquiry? I think if he did enter HK, he could do so because immigration comes under HK's purview under the 1C2S format. But with way things are, I guess China could "order" HK to ban his entry. Technically UK did not give Singapore independence. Singapore had what is known as internal self-government from 1959 to 1963, with the Brits looking after defence and foreign relations. In 1963 Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak joined independent Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia. Singapore was not independent then as it was a state of Malaysia owing allegiance to Kuala Lumpur. Singaporeans were actually Malaysians as a nationality. Because of political squabbles between the federal govt in KL and Singapore state govt, the island was kicked out of the federation about 2 years later and became indpendent on 9 Aug 1965.
Thank you, cal10ten, for the brief introduction to Singapore's road to independance. It seems Beijing has no intention to enter a similar squabble with the HK Government, nor is it willing to kick Hong Kong out.
why British lawmaker able to enter hk without china approval for those inquiry task?
British lawmaker fail to show us under which relevant section in sino british joint declaration that empower British with such role, duty for post colonial hk
British sign treaty to give independence to usa, canada, australia, india, malaysia, singapore, african
British are going to interfere with them too?
british official are going to conduct inquiry on those nation too?
I wish your reports would not 'put words into our mouths', concerning what was promised in the Joint Declaration.
You state Hong Kong was promised "EXTENSIVE" autonomy. The exact words used were " a high degree of autonomy" and did not include the word "Extensive".
Modern usage of the word 'extensive' frequently suggests more than just a degree, whether modified by the words "high', "low" or whatever. Many dictionaries suggest the word "extensive" even implies "very full" and "complete". ( Merriam Webster Dictionary) .
The use of this word is perhaps deliberate creepage (?) . Politicians use this tactic repeatedly. They use a slightly different word, which although broadly of similar meaning contains different nuances and exploits the "greyness" of a word's meaning. If repeated often enough, before long the public and press follow and start using the new term. This is why we often hear pro-democracy politicians and commentators expressing verbally that Hong Kong was promised "full internal autonomy" except for defence and foreign affairs matters.
Stick to the correct terminology when your reports make claims about what the Joint Declaration and Basic Law promise.
scmp and its author had deliberately mislead, distort,misrepresent article 45
the actual wording for article 45
the ultimate aim is the selection of hk chief by universal suffage UPON nomination
not as follow
ultimate aim for hk chief is universal suffage.
why these people ,western expert need to fabricate lies against beijing?
because the truth is not on their sides.
What makes people think that Britain or any western countries actually care about whether HK or any other place on the planet has democracy? How many of the regimes that the US and its allies support today and in the past are actually democratic? Is any of the pro-US/western regimes in the middle east democratic? If Iraq and Kuwait didn't have any black gold underneath their ground, would US and Britain fought for them? If it was not to defend its own political and economic interest in Libya, would France have led the way to topple Gaddafi?
Britain should just do the honorable thing and give citizenship, a council house and dole money to any Hongkongers willing to put up with the s.h.i.tty weather and racism. A few million more Chinese is nothing compared to the gypsies and other eastern Europeans crossing the Channel in the past decade.
Yes they are racist, but come on you can't seriously consider HK weather to be any better than UK weather. High humidity vs endless grey skies.
The limeys already have their hands full taking on Putin, there's no need to pick a fight with Beijing.




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