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Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 2nd July 2019.

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Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State 12:42 pm, 2nd July 2019

First, I genuinely acknowledge and recognise the right hon. Gentleman’s interest in and deep knowledge of this issue, and I commend him for the activity that he generates in the House, which is shared in by so many other Members from all parties. I thank him for his analysis and for what I consider to be a measured series of questions that go very much to the point. We all agree with him that any actions taken in response to the vandalism that took place should be proportionate and within the rule of law, and should not be taken against larger numbers than those who were actually involved in that vandalism.

As the right hon. Gentleman recognises, and as I said in my opening remarks, a lot of the ability to address the tension rests with the Government of Hong Kong and the Chief Executive Carrie Lam, in respect of the extradition legislation that has generated so much protest. Whereas we fully agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the joint declaration remains valid—again, I said that in my opening remarks—we are not here to dictate and instruct either the Chinese Government, or that of Hong Kong itself, to do what we believe they should be doing within the autonomy that has properly been granted to them. I am sure the House will appreciate the delicacy of our wanting to uphold the rule of law while having to be careful not to instruct either Government about what they should do in specific detail.