Statement on Sept 15th "One Country, Two Systems is Dead" Petition
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to gather here again. Today we stand here to show solidarity to Civil Human Rights Front, whose proposed procession today was banned by the Hong Kong police. A procession calls for freedom and democracy is banned, on the International day of democracy. I think this says something about the current regime. We would like to reiterate this another alarming episode of Sino-British Joint Declaration being breached, and that should prompt the British government to take immediate actions as a signatory.
Regarding the current situation in the UK Parliament, may we take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the 150 MPs in the House of Commons who stand with our fight for freedom. However, it is not enough for the British government to request the Commonwealth countries to grant citizenship to British Nationals or simply extend the visa of British National students after graduation. We as British Nationals expect Her Majesty’s Government to take this responsibility over the people of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is in a major humanitarian crisis now. And the truth is, being a signatory of the legal treaty of “Sino-British Joint Declaration”, British government bears the undeniable obligation to evaluate the effective implementation of “One Country, Two Systems“ and firmly articulate its malfunction. The world has clearly witnessed, especially in these few months, that “One Country, Two Systems” is dysfunctioning and near non-existent; however, by the recent debate in the parliament, our government seems happy to overlook the facts and passes the buck to the Chinese government.
“Sino-British Joint Declaration” is dead - this is the very reason we pledge in masks today. We are in white terror and could be arrested anytime anywhere without any reasons. After our petition on the first of September, Hong Kong students began their new school year in fear as there were policemen monitoring how their school started. Also, there were pro-establishments parties and their supporters attacking students who voice out in the form of human chains. Countless atrocities are committed against our people daily; our personal safety is jeopardised.
Accordingly, we hereby urge the British government to review the status of "One Country, Two Systems” and act against the material breach of “Sino-British Joint Declaration” of China. In light of the grave dangers we face on a daily basis, it is a must for the British government to conduct all essential reviews of British policies on Hong Kong in order to protect our people.
The personal safety of Hong Kong people along with the British Nationals in Hong Kong is not protected. With the overpowered Hong Kong police in place and many more rights-violating laws being proposed, we are facing life-threatening situations daily.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration is in a material breach of the Chinese government. The Chinese government has been, especially in these recent months, undermining our autonomy and basic human rights. The extradition law outrageously trespass on our established legislative system. Today’s main rally out there proposed by Civil Human Rights Front, together with many rally proposals last month, were rejected by the Police Force, who all the more suppress our once-enjoyed freedom of assembly. These cold facts all point to a material breach of the Chinese government into the Joint Declaration, on which the legitimacy of governance and legislation are grounded.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeated not once, not twice, but numerously lately that "The Joint Declaration is a historical document with no realistic meaning.” In this, Chinese government has permanently denied and terminated the Joint Declaration single-sidedly. On 27 August 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China officially declared that no country or organization can interfere with Hong Kong affairs making use of the Declaration. As another signatory of the Declaration, British government must not pretend that this is a trivial issue and just do the talking.
In a British parliamentary debate in 2014, Sir Richard Ottaway has revealed that Chinese officials considered the Joint Declaration "now void and only covered the period from the signing in 1984 until the handover in 1997."
Above acts of unlawful repudiation of the Declaration by Chinese government have grave consequences to bear, including the end of Hong Kong’s autonomy, safety and legitimacy of governance. In the face of these dangers, British government must take all necessary measures to safeguard the safety of British Nationals in Hong Kong.
A recent press release from London Stock Exchange Group to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong has very clearly stated that Hong Kong has degraded into a place where the stock market is manipulated and controlled by people from the Chinese Communist Party. The communist lineage of HKEX shatters the credibility and security of Hong Kong market. The HKEX case will not be the last in the row as our business sector is increasingly infiltrated by Chinese government and employed as a political tool to serve the Chinese regime.
China is not hesitant in its attempts of laying a tight hand over Hong Kong. Lately, we can see traces of companies from different industries being deeply infiltrated, or even fully controlled by China.
Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, under the order of Chinese Communist Party, suspended the staff who supported the movement. Shortly after, their Chief Executive Officer and senior management member resigned. The resignation is associated with the pressure the officers faced in refusing to hand in a staff list participating in anti-extradition protests to Chinese government. Afterwards, staff members who supported the movement were all laid off by the company upon the company scrutinising their social media accounts.
The Mass Transit Railway, operated by the MTR Corporation Limited also caved in to Chinese government as the company allowed police to enter the stations and make arrests; MTR stations would also be closed whenever the company deems necessary. We, however, believe the act of closing up stations is a measure to confine protesters in certain areas so that police can put the greatest number of people into custody.
According to Reuters, a meeting organised by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) indicated that China also plans to assert controls in other industries in Hong Kong, such as real-estate and tourism sector, as a means to totalise Hong Kong with China as soon as possible. By infiltrating companies, opinions considered harmful to the Beijing regime will be silenced and staff will likely face detrimental consequences for their doings. This is no doubt a serious breach of freedom of speech promised in One Country, Two Systems and the Joint Declaration.
The earlier speech of Carrie Lam reported by Reuters reiterated the governmental plan to integrate Hong Kong into the Greater Bay Area in terms of infrastructure and ideological settings. Lam stressed that the ongoing unrests ill not stop the government from preparing for the integration. It is foreseeable that the political and socio-economical models of Hong will become that of communist China.
Above mentioned examples signify the very fact that the “Sino-British Declaration” is being totally violated and “One Country, Two Systems” is not working. Each and every aspect of Hong Kong is under direct harm from Chinese government. As the signatory of the legal treaty of Joint Declaration, British government should not remain reluctant in taking concrete actions anymore. The British government must fulfill the historical and legal obligations to Hong Kong.