Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:04 pm on 18th June 2019.

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Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State 2:04 pm, 18th June 2019

The right hon. Gentleman makes a good point about remedy. There is not an arbitration process as part of the joint declaration, but it is none the less a document that is very publicly on the record after two leading members of the international community signed it freely some 35 years ago. On a direct legal remedy, I am afraid that I cannot provide the assurance that he might ideally be looking for. In 2016—he has alluded to this—we called out a breach of the joint declaration following the involuntary removal of the Causeway booksellers from Hong Kong to the mainland. This was, to date, the first and only time that we have called out a direct breach of the joint declaration. As he says, the issue of remedy is a complicated matter. However, at a time when China wishes to be trusted and to play a much broader role economically, militarily and diplomatically in the international community, I very much hope that the sense in which it is directly breaching aspects of a joint declaration made some 35 years ago will make it think twice.