UK, U.S., Canada Say China Violating Int'l Obligations over Hong Kong
China's plan to impose a new security law on Hong Kong puts it in direct violation of its international commitments, Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia said Thursday.
"China's decision to impose the new national security law on Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally binding, U.N.-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. The proposed law would undermine the One Country, Two Systems framework," the four allies said in a joint statement.
The condemnation was issued after China's parliament rubber stamped a law initially proposed by the National People's Congress after huge pro-democracy protests rocked the financial hub for seven months last year.
The United States took the dramatic step of revoking the special status conferred on Hong Kong in response, paving the way for the territory to be stripped of trading and economic privileges.
The four nations said were were "extremely concerned that this action will exacerbate the existing deep divisions in Hong Kong society; the law does nothing to build mutual understanding and foster reconciliation within Hong Kong."
It added: "The world’s focus on a global pandemic requires enhanced trust in governments and international cooperation. Beijing's unprecedented move risks having the opposite effect."