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Hong Kong: Press Freedom

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent diplomatic steps he has taken to help ensure the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration is adhered to in relation to freedom of the press in Hong Kong.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Holding answer received on 23 March 2020

As Lord Ahmad said in the Lords on 19 March, we have consistently stated our concern about media freedoms in China. The Chinese Government's announcement that they will prevent certain American journalists from working in China and Macao further restricts transparency at a particularly important time. The suggestion by the Chinese MFA that this measure may apply in Hong Kong is deeply concerning. The Sino-British Joint Declaration is clear. It sets out that immigration decisions are the sole responsibility of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, and freedom of the press is guaranteed. It is imperative that these rights and freedoms are fully respected.

We are concerned about the implications this decision could have upon British Journalists. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments on this issue. On 5 March Minister Adams met Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador and discussed China and Hong Kong.

We remain fully committed to upholding Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms underpinned by the legally binding Joint Declaration, and the 'One Country, Two Systems' framework set out in the Hong Kong Basic Law.

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