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 hon. Gentleman makes a valid point. He is right—we have mentioned in recent six-monthly reports that we have had a sense, as he said, that there has been an erosion of individual rights. There has not been an erosion of commercial rights. In many ways, the commercial thing continues at quite some pace.

Ultimately, it must be for the people of Hong Kong to determine the way in which they appoint both their Chief Executive and their Legislative Council. I think there will be a move towards reform in that regard. As the hon. Gentleman is well aware, there are safeguards, and within that there is an electoral system for groups. As for the election of a Chief Executive, that is largely led by Beijing. It is worth pointing out that we have worked closely with Carrie Lam. I have met her on a couple of occasions, and she is a dedicated public servant. To be candid about talk about removing her from office, one should be careful about one wishes for, because if someone else were appointed, particularly under the current rules, they could be a much more hard-line Beijing figure.