The Foreign Affairs Committee is today publishing letters from the Chinese Ambassador, the Director-General of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, suggesting that the Committee should not proceed with its current inquiry into UK relations with Hong Kong.
The Chairman of the Committee, the Rt Hon Sir Richard Ottaway MP, said:
"I want to be quite clear that we are not seeking to interfere in China’s internal affairs. What we are investigating is the FCO’s ongoing assessment of the implementation of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, under which sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred to China. That is part of our role in oversight of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and it is an entirely legitimate interest of the Committee. We will also consider other aspects of how the FCO handles the relationship between the UK and Hong Kong, such as business and cultural ties.
We plan to continue with our inquiry, and I very much hope that we can find a way, through discussion with the Chinese authorities, for China to make a contribution to our understanding of how the principles of the Joint Declaration are being put into practice."