Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, along with the USA, have issued a joint statement regarding the erosion of human rights in Hong Kong with respect to democratic elections and liberties.
The joint statement comes days after Beijing imposed a new National Security Law which disqualifies political candidates and postpones Legislative Council elections.
Despite the CANZUK countries previously issuing a request to the United Nations for a Hong Kong Special Envoy, the Chinese government have continued the imposition of draconian laws on the Administrative Region, raising multiple concerns about free speech and the Chinese government’s authoritarian rule.
The imposed security law was also implemented without the direct participation of Hong Kong citizens, its legislature or judiciary, and breaches the legally binding agreement between the UK and China which ensured that rights and freedoms would be protected by law in the former British colony.
The statement issued by the CANZUK countries, along with the USA, is below:
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“We the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and the United States Secretary of State are gravely concerned by the Hong Kong government’s unjust disqualification of candidates and disproportionate postponement of Legislative Council elections. These moves have undermined the democratic process that has been fundamental to Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.
We express deep concern at Beijing’s imposition of the new National Security Law, which is eroding the Hong Kong people’s fundamental rights and liberties.
We support the legitimate expectations of the people of Hong Kong to elect Legislative Council representatives via genuinely free, fair, and credible elections. We call on the Hong Kong government to reinstate the eligibility of disqualified candidates so that the elections can take place in an environment conducive to the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Basic Law. Beijing promised autonomy and freedoms under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to the Hong Kong people in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-registered treaty, and must honour its commitments. We urge the Hong Kong government to hold the elections as soon as possible.”
The cooperation shown between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom with respect to Hong Kong is demonstrative of the countries’ respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and each countries’ willingness to stand with close allies for the betterment of security, diplomacy and peace. It is clear that furthering CANZUK relations would have a profound effect on international diplomacy and the promotion of human rights around the world.
CANZUK International will continue to liaise with foreign affairs representatives across Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and discuss ongoing policy developments regarding security, diplomacy and human rights for British overseas nationals in Hong Kong.
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