News Excerpt
The United Kingdom recently accused China of breaking the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration after it disqualified four pro-democracy legislators in Hong Kong, in the latest incident laying to rest the promise of One Country, Two Systems.

Pre-Connect
•    Under the 1984 agreement—which is legally binding—Beijing was to guarantee Hong Kong’s autonomy until at least 2047 under the One Country, Two Systems principle.
•    With this agreement, the UK agreed to hand over Hong Kong to China in 1997, ending over a century of British rule.
•    This agreement between the UK and China made clear that Hong Kong’s high-degree of autonomy, rights and freedoms would remain unchanged for 50 years.
•    The undertakings made by China, including the right to freedom of expression, an independent judiciary and the rule of law are considered as essential to Hong Kong’s prosperity and way of life.
•    The declaration also states that Hong Kong’s legal and judicial system would also be unchanged for 50 years after 1997. It held that Britain would be would be responsible for the administration of Hong Kong until 1997 and the Chinese government would give its cooperation.

Analytica
    Freed from mainland China’s socialist policies, Hong Kong’s liberal economic policies helped it become a financial hub of the region.
    However, of late, China has increasingly interfered in Hong Kong’s domestic political and economic affairs. From the imposition of the National Security Law to the recent disqualification of four pro-democracy lawmakers—leading to the resignation of the entire democratic camp in the Hong Kong Legislature—China has increasingly asserted its control over Hong Kong.
    China’s actions have created a wave of immigration from Hong Kong as dissidents desiring democracy attempt to claim amnesty in the United Kingdom and abroad. The UK now considers China to have violated the treaty thrice, laying the way for possible sanctions.
    The only way to guarantee Hong Kong’s future success and stability is by respecting the agreement’s conditions and addressing the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong through meaningful political dialogue.
    Britain has few options other than demanding reparations; in response China would predictably “strongly condemn” and reject any such requests. However, this scenario would drastically undermine China’s international image and provide a justification for other countries to re-evaluate their own agreements with China.