Q: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on June 29 that the rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free media have all been central to Hong Kong's success. Hong Kong's future success will depend on the rights and freedoms protected by the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The spokesperson of the US State Department also said that the US remains concerned about any infringements of civil liberties in Hong Kong, including intrusions on press freedoms, and supports the further development of Hong Kong's democratic systems. What is China's comment on that?
A: We can tell whether Hong Kong is successful or not based on its development over the past two decades since its return to the motherland, rather than any outsiders' irresponsible remarks.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has achieved all-round progress over the past 20 years under the energetic support of the central government and the mainland. From 1997 to 2016, GDP annual growth rate in Hong Kong averaged 3.2%, ranking among the top developed economies. Hong Kong has kept its unemployment rate below 3.5% over recent years, while the world average is 5%. For 23 years in a row, Hong Kong has been rated by the Heritage Foundation as the freest economy in its Index of Economic Freedom Report. According to the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017, Hong Kong topped the list of competitive economies for the second consecutive year. The successful practice of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong, prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and the prosperous and contented life of people in Hong Kong have made people of the SAR and the entire China happy, although it seems to have made some others sour.
As for the remarks made by those from the US and the UK, I want to stress that Hong Kong is China's SAR, and Hong Kong affairs belong to China's domestic affairs. The Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984) clearly marks the transitional period off from China resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. It's been 20 years now since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, and the arrangements during the transitional period prescribed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration are now history and of no practical significance, nor are they binding on the Chinese central government's administration of the Hong Kong SAR. The British side has no sovereignty, no power to rule and supervise Hong Kong after the handover. It is hoped that relevant people will come around to this.
So how will the British Government handle this? It's clear as day now that the Chinese have been slowly but surely chipping away at the freedom and autonomy that Hong-Kong is supposed to have according to the treaty signed with Britain before Hong-Kong was handed over. The Central government has no real intentions of allowing a really democratic form of government either.
Can China be Trusted to hold its commitments? At least in this case the answer is no but i wouldn't count on Britain making a big fuzz about this. I mean they want Chinese investment and trade once they leave the EU. Hell even before the Brexit vote the British government was pathetically subservient towards Beijing.
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