BEIJING, January 13. /TASS/. London must abandon its colonial thinking and not interfere in Hong Kong-related issues that are connected exclusively to China's domestic politics, the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom declared in response to the release of a British report on human rights in this special administrative region of the PRC.
"Hong Kong returned to China a long time ago, its affairs are exclusively China's domestic politics and foreign interference is not acceptable," the embassy said in a statement on its website. "We call on the UK to recognize the reality and the main tendency of history, to leave behind colonial thinking, and to respect China's sovereignty and unity."
According to the embassy’s statement, the main point of the Sino-British joint declaration on Hong Kong is to ensure the restoration of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong. The declaration does not assign any responsibility to Britain for Hong Kong once it reverted to China, the diplomatic office said.
The British government publishes a biannual report on human rights in Hong Kong. The document has criticized the Hong Kong National Security Law adopted by the Chinese authorities in recent years.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984, laid out the arrangements for handing over Hong Kong, which at that time was a British possession, to China. According to the terms of the declaration, the Chinese government became responsible for the foreign policy and territorial security from July 1, 1997 according to the concept of "one country, two systems". Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of self-government: it exercises administrative, legislative and judicial powers.
In the summer of 2020, the Chinese parliament passed the National Security Law for Hong Kong. As stated in Beijing, it aims to combat threats of terrorism, separatism, subversion of state power, and collusion with foreign forces, and provides for life imprisonment as the maximum penalty. After this legal act was passed, many radical opposition activists curtailed their anti-government activities in the autonomy, some went abroad, and others became subjects of criminal cases. The UK has repeatedly argued that the law violates the terms of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.