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Lesson 1 - Sino-British Joint Declaration

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

1. Despite its name, the Sino-British Joint Declaration is an international treaty registered at the United Nations, by the People’s Republic of China and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at 12 June 1985.


2. The status of British National (Overseas) is only stated in the British Memorandum of the Joint Declaration. This was the stance of the British Government at the time, but it is not legally binding and is prone to change over time and differing circumstances. 


3. The Chinese Memorandum states that all Hong Kong Chinese compatriots are Chinese Nationals regardless of their British nationalities, stripping off their rights to claim for consular protection in Hong Kong, Macau and China.


4. It is possible to grant Right of Abode or British Citizenship even with the Joint Declaration is in effect. The British Nationality (Hong Kong) Selection Scheme in 1990-1991 and 1994 granted British Citizenship to qualified applicants after the Joint Declaration had become effective on 25 May 1985.


5. The Joint Declaration contains 3 annexes which went into effect with the Joint Declaration, including Chinese basic policies, the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group and land leases. Please note that annexes are not the memoranda; and the memoranda are not registered at the United Nations, unlike the annexes. 

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