The UK's relations with Hong Kong: 30 years after Joint Declaration

22 July 2014

This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong, which set out arrangements for the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.

The Joint Declaration and subsequent Basic Law enshrined a high degree of autonomy and basic rights and freedoms for the people of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) in China.

As co-signatory of the Joint Declaration, the UK retains an enduring commitment to Hong Kong following the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. Since then, the Foreign Secretary has reported to Parliament at six-monthly intervals on the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The UK also has long-term social and economic links with Hong Kong with regular exchanges on policy issues including global economic developments, climate change, financial services regulation, legal and judicial cooperation, and religious and social development.

The Foreign Affairs Committee is launching an inquiry into The UK’s relations with Hong Kong: 30 years after the Joint Declaration, and invites submissions of evidence and possible recommendations. The Committee would welcome submissions which assess in particular:

  • The FCO’s monitoring of the implementation of the Joint Declaration and Basic Law, including its six monthly reports to Parliament
  • The UK Government’s relationship with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government
  • The UK’s position on progress on political and constitutional reform in Hong Kong as it moves toward universal suffrage, taking note of the wider context of social and economic development in Hong Kong
  • The UK’s presence and its ongoing interests in Hong Kong, including the prospects for trade, business, and cultural exchange
  • The work of the British Council in Hong Kong


Written submissions are invited and should be received by the Committee no later than 14 October 2014.

Form of written evidence

Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain:

  • a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form
  • a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, perhaps explaining their area of expertise or experience
  • any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses
  • any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.

Submissions should be in MS Word format (we cannot process PDFs) with no use of colour or logos.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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