Archive for August, 2019

Labour must stand with Hongkongers

23/08/2019, 06:19:05 PM

by Gray Sergeant

Tom Watson is right the United Kingdom must not sit idly by while Hongkongers lose their rights and freedoms – and neither should the Labour Party

On 16 August the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party addressed, via video, thousands of pro-democracy protesters who had gathered at the Charter Garden in Hong Kong. The desire of those attending the Power to the People rally was a simple one, to have a government which was accountable to them, the citizens. Watson offered his solidarity and called on the British government to give “direct moral support for the people of Hong Kong”.

The UK has a unique responsibility to the people in Hong Kong. Not only was the territory a British colony, until it was given to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1997, but London co-signed with Beijing the Joint Declaration which promises to protect Hong Kong’s autonomy until 2047. This means allowing the city to maintain its freedoms and rule of law, as well as develop its partially-democratic political system.

Yet the PRC, and its appointees who run the Hong Kong government, have repeatedly undermined this arrangement. Most notable has been their failure to deliver on the promise given to the Hong Kong people that they would be able to elect their own Chief Executive by universal suffrage. This is what led to the mass occupation of the city’s streets in 2014. However, the situation in Hong Kong has deteriorated even further since the Umbrella movement with; booksellers being abducted to Mainland China, political parties and candidates being banned from running for office, and democratically elected lawmakers being thrown out of the city’s legislature.


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