U.S., U.K. Sign New Version of Atlantic Charter to Address China, Russia Threats

The Atlantic Charter, which committed the two countries to cooperate in addressing the challenges of China and Russia in areas such as free trade and human rights.

The Atlantic Charter, signed by then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Roosevelt in 1941, set out the basic principles and framework for the establishment of a new world configuration and a new international order after World War II.

And at about the same time, the British government published a six-month report on Hong Kong, criticizing Beijing for violating the Sino-British Joint Declaration three times in 2020.

The report criticized China’s National People’s Congress for changing Hong Kong’s electoral system without permission, in direct violation of the democratic commitments established in the Basic Law. The report mentions 47 pan-democratic leaders who were charged under the Hong Kong National Security Law for participating in the “35+ primaries,” indicating that “the Hong Kong National Security Law does not, as Beijing claims, affect only a small group of serious national security hazards, but drastically restricts political dissent, freedom of expression and reasonable discussion of public affairs. ” Moreover, the vague provisions of the National Security Law put defendants at risk of long prison terms and transfer to the mainland to serve their sentences.

The report also mentions that the National Security Law has cracked down on press freedom and freedom of expression, and includes a large section on the arrest of Next Media founder Lai Chi-ying.

In response, the Foreign Office in Hong Kong expressed strong dissatisfaction with the report, criticizing it for “ignoring the facts and confusing right and wrong” and violating the principle of “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries” and “urging the British side to abandon its old colonial dream. “. And the Hong Kong government expressed strong opposition, reiterating that the national security law is effective “to protect the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the HKSAR.

In addition to Friday’s highly visible G-7 meeting, Biden will also meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Wednesday. There is concern that China will be quite isolated internationally.