The British government must fulfil its responsibilities towards the people of Hong Kong, a bishop has told the Foreign Secretary.
In a letter to Dominic Raab, Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton said he was “deeply concerned” by China’s attempted power grabs in the region and called on the government to honour the Sino-British joint declaration, in which China promised to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy.
“Like so many others in the Catholic community I am deeply concerned by the continuing erosion of autonomy, suppression of political freedoms, and violent response to peaceful protests taking place in breach of this treaty,” Bishop Lang said.
“The UK has a clear legal, moral and historical duty to safeguard fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong. Failure to do so at this critical time will not only have devastating consequences for more than seven million people living there but is also likely to have dangerous repercussions for human rights and international law more broadly.”
The bishop called on the government to use “all available diplomatic means” to protect the people of Hong Kong from “the serious violations of their human dignity that we are now witnessing.”
The bishop’s letter comes after China’s Communist government passed a new security law last week further interfering with Hong Kong’s autonomy. The legal change prompted a fresh round of demonstrations on Hong Kong’s streets.
The British government announced last week that the UK could offer the three million Hong Kongers who hold British National (Overseas) passports a path to full citizenship if China does not suspend the security law.