I have been following the situation in Hong Kong particularly closely in recent weeks. The Government has called on all sides to ensure that the demonstrations remain peaceful. Equally, it is important that Hong Kong’s fundamental rights and freedoms continue to be respected, including the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in accordance with the law. The Government remains fully committed to the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, on the implementation of which the Foreign Secretary will continue to report to Parliament regularly.
On the question of constitutional reform, the Foreign Secretary and I have consistently expressed to all parties the Government’s view that Hong Kong’s future is best served by a transition to universal suffrage, in line with the Basic Law, which meets the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong, and which offers them a genuine choice in the election of the Chief Executive.
The Government continues to encourage all parties to engage in dialogue and to work towards a consensus that allows a significant step forward for democracy. I look forward in due course to the resumption by the Hong Kong Government of the official consultation on plans to implement universal suffrage in 2017.