1 July marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). The UK joins Hong Kong in celebrating the success of the SAR, and its continued prosperity and vitality. Hong Kong is dynamic, innovative and forward-looking. Hong Kong’s success is built on its high degree of autonomy, as enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and Basic Law (Hong Kong’s Constitution), centred on key freedoms, strong rule of law, and an independent judiciary.
As set out in the government’s latest 6-monthly report to the House on 24 February, the government’s assessment remains that the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle is functioning well in the vast majority of areas. ‘One Country, Two Systems’ has allowed the UK’s relationship with Hong Kong to flourish across a whole range of areas, including trade and investment, education, science, innovation and technology. Hong Kong is our second biggest export market in Asia with UK exports worth just over £8 billion and over 630 British companies have offices in the territory. Both the UK and Hong Kong SAR governments share the same commitment to making global trade easier and more transparent.
The UK recognises the specific concerns over the implementation of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, as set out in the government’s six-monthly reports to the House. The UK believes that it is vital for Hong Kong’s continued success that the SAR’s high degree of autonomy and rule of law are preserved and that the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is fully upheld. The UK therefore welcomes statements by the Chinese government and the Hong Kong SAR government expressing commitment to the faithful implementation of ‘One Country, Two Systems’.
The UK continues to believe that it is in Hong Kong’s best interests that discussion resumes between all parties in Hong Kong in order to make further progress towards a more democratic and accountable system of government, as provided for in the Basic Law.
The UK government congratulates the new Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR government, Carrie Lam, on her forthcoming inauguration on 1 July, and wishes her a successful term in office. The UK government looks forwards to working with the Chief Executive to deepen UK-Hong Kong relations and support Hong Kong to prosper long into the future.