Filibuster: Beijing Again Violates Sino-British Joint Statement, UK Government Considers Sanctions Against Countermeasures

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab issued a statement on November 12 in response to the general resignation of pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong triggered by the disqualification of four pro-democracy lawmakers by China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC). Raab said Beijing’s implementation of new rules to disqualify elected lawmakers is a clear violation of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration. The British Foreign Office has summoned China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, to express its concern.

In a statement issued by the British Foreign Office on the same day, Raab wrote, “Beijing’s implementation of new rules to disqualify elected members of parliament is a clear violation of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration, and China has once again reneged on its commitments and undermined Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.” He said, “Britain will stand by the people of Hong Kong and speak out loudly about the violations of their rights and freedoms. We will work with our international partners to demand that China fulfils its obligations that it has freely undertaken under international law.”

British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nigel Adams (Nigel Adams) said in an urgent questioning session held by the House of Commons of the British Parliament on the same day, the British Foreign Office sent a note to the Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, expressing the British side’s “deep concern”. Adams said, “this is another sad day for the people of Hong Kong”. The British government noted that this was the third time that Beijing had violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the second time in the last six months that China had violated its own commitments.

Adams said that China’s action was “designed to harass and silence all voices critical of China’s policies”. In response to a question about whether the British government would impose Global Magnitsky Act-style sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, he said the United Kingdom would seriously consider imposing sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials. We will continue to impose sanctions on officials under the Magnitsky Act,” Adams said.

Adams continued that it is “completely inappropriate” to speculate about who will be sanctioned, because it will reduce the impact of sanctions. But he said that the United Kingdom will carry out “further research” on the sanctions target. Now all the people of Hong Kong are left with is a “neutered legislature,” Adams added. According to the British “Guardian” report, the British Foreign Office is under pressure from politicians of all parties, is expected to proceed to sanction at least four Hong Kong officials in the short term.