• jeremiahbull

China and the breach 中國政府和違約

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

(Please scroll down for Chinese translation 繁体中文请往下滑).

Riot Police meet a sea of umbrellas

Think of the word ‘breach” and what comes to mind? “Breach birth”? “Security breach”? There’s a petition circulating online that refers to China’s breach of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. The breach of concern is specifically the loss of Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and changes imposed on people's lifestyle. This is China’s misdemeanour, and our proposed referendum is viewed as a political solution to any breach.

For a crime as clear as stealing a Rolex watch or murdering your girlfriend in Hong Kong, there’s a punishment that fits. However, things get complicated if you murder your girlfriend while on a trip to Taiwan – but we won’t go into that here. If it were a broken contract between myself and a business I am sure I would not just let the matter slide. And if it was as simple or straightforward as taking China to Court for breaking the terms of an agreement made several decades ago, how could the wrong be put right?

Well, firstly the Joint Declaration listed a number of guarantees provided by the British and Chinese governments for the people of Hong Kong in the lead up to the British handover of rule to China in 1997 and through to 2047. The 1984 document lays out the policies that the Chinese government agreed to follow in governing Hong Kong, and these were accepted by the British government which proceeded with the handover 13 years later.

Rather than a single event that marks China's breach of the Joint Declaration there have been many infractions. Several writers before myself have attempted to catalogue the litany of events that are examples of breaches, so I will not take the same route as they have. Normally any single disregard for the terms of a legal agreement would be enough to trigger legal action by the effected party. In the case of Britain and China, however, events have moved very slowly, although people in Hong Kong have protested their discontent for years.

Chinese authorities seem to interpret legal matters in ways that suit themselves. Even when The Philippines, for example, took the Chinese government to the International Court of Arbitration over territorial issues in the South China Sea in 2013, China declared it wouldn't attend and eventually rejected the ruling. The best hope for Hong Kong protesters therefore, is to get China to comply with its international obligations since it is a signatory to the United Nations Charter on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and is a permanent member of its Security CounciI. China must comply with the ICCPR. Both China and Britain lodged the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration with the United Nations making it a binding agreement.

For the benefit of those readers who might insist that I spell out China's misdemeanour blow by blow, I defer to periodic reports prepared by U.S. and U.K. governments. The highly respected Senior Counsel Martin Lee is founding Chairman of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong and a former Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (1985-2008). In his 2019 report to the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) he outlined four encroachments eroding Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy”:

· Beijing’s extrajudicial abductions of publishers and a businessman from Hong Kong;

· The removal of elected Hong Kong leaders, by Beijing's interpretation of the Basic Law;

· A surge in arrests of peaceful critics; and

· Attacks on our independent judiciary

The guarantee of a high degree of autonomy is at the core of China's breach. Even the selection of Carrie Lam as candidate for Chief Executive is a systematic undercutting of Hong Kong people's high degree of autonomy. Carrie Lam was appointed Chief Executive in 2017 after getting 777 votes in a selection committee process which represents roughly 0.1% of Hong Kong's population. People living in Scotland as part of The United Kingdom of Great Britain have a fully democratic election system. They are able to have a high degree of autonomy, whereas with China, Hong Kong people are not being extended the freedom and human rights or the democracy that a high degree of autonomy guarantees.

Although there have been many calls for a “political solution” to solve what is a complex set of issues, demands, positions and counter-positions, no one has yet offered either the golden bullet, or the magic pill to end the crisis. However, the type of solution that I expect Hong Kongers will be most satisfied with will be one that satisfies their current five demands – that gives them a high degree of autonomy. It will put universal suffrage democracy in place.

Hong Kong’s political movers and shakers have so far looked for assistance in this dispute with the Chinese government from foreign quarters, especially Germany, and the United States. China is always opposed to foreign interference in what it terms ‘domestic matters’ or its ‘internal affairs’, yet it chooses as a foreigner to interfere in Hong Kong. This flies in the face of its own 'One country, two systems' policy.

Stakeholders, including the United States of America, the European Union, Britain and China must be involved in resolving the current dispute to restore Hong Kong's international standing and bring back stability. Without all of these stakeholders' involvement there can be no social, economic, geopolitical or broader resolution to the current impasse. As China is in breach of the Joint Declaration a referendum which is then acted upon offers a political solution. Our referendum, therefore, gives the power back to the people of Hong Kong to settle their own destiny having a high degree of autonomy.

Jeremiah B. & Pepe

Protesters disrupted operations at the airport


想想一詞,會想到什麼? “突破出生”? “安全漏洞”?在網上流傳著一份請願書,表明中國違反了1984年「中英聯合聲明」。違反的關注點尤其是香港高度自治 的喪失和人們生活方式的改變。這是中國的輕罪,我們提議的全民公決 被視為任何違規行為的政治解決方案。

對於在香港偷走勞力士手錶 或謀殺您女朋友的明確罪行,應有適當的懲罰。但是,如果您在去台灣旅行 時謀殺了女友,事情就會變得複雜 - 但我們在這裡不做介紹。如果我和企業之間的合同違約,我相信我不會只是順其自然。如果說它像幾十年前就中國違反一項協議的條款而將其告上法庭一樣簡單或直接,那麼如何糾正錯誤呢?


除了標誌著中國違反「聯合聲明」的單一事件外,還有許多違規行為。在我本人之前,有幾位作者試圖對一系列事件進行分類,這些事件是違反事件的示例,因此我不會採用與他們相同的方法。通常,任何對法律協議條款的無視就足以觸發受影響的一方採取法律行動。然而,就英國 和中國而言,事件進展得非常緩慢,儘管香港人多年來一直抗議自己的不滿情緒。

中國當局似乎以適合自己的方式解釋法律事務。例如,即使菲律賓在2013年就中國政府在南中國海的領土問題上將中國政府帶到國際仲裁法院 時,中國也宣布不參加,最終拒絕了該裁決。因此,香港抗議者的最大希望是使中國遵守其國際義務,因為它是「聯合國公民權利和政治權利憲章」的簽署國,並且是其安全理事會的常任理事國。中國必須遵守「公民權利和政治權利國際公約」。中英兩國都向聯合國遞交了1984年「中英聯合聲明」,成為具有約束力的協議

為了使那些可能堅持要求我一口氣闡明中國輕罪的讀者的利益,我謹遵照美國和英國政府 定期編寫的定期報告。備受推崇的資深大律師李柱銘是香港民主黨的創始主席和香港立法會議員(1985-2008年)。在他給美國的2019年報告 中中國國會執行委員會(CECC)概述了侵蝕香港“高度自治”的四項侵害:


·通過北京對「基本法」的解釋 免職香港當選領導人


·對我們獨立司法機構 的攻擊

高度自治 的保證是中國違約的核心。甚至連林鄭月娥都被選為行政長官候選人,也是香港人高度自治的系統性削弱。林鄭月娥在推選委員會程序 中獲得777票的投票權後,於2017年被任命為首席執行官,這一投票大約佔香港人口的0.1%。作為大不列顛聯合王國一部分在蘇格蘭生活的人擁有完全民主的選舉制度。他們能夠有高度的自治權,然而由於中國,香港人沒有獲得高度自治保證下的自由和人權,或者民主

儘管有很多人呼籲採取“政治解決方案” 來解決一系列複雜的問題,要求,立場和對立立場,但還沒有人提供解決危機的黃金子彈或靈丹妙藥。但是,我希望讓香港人會最滿意的解決方案是滿足他們目前的五大訴求 的方案,這使他們具有高度的自治權。它將實行普選民主

迄今為止,香港的政治活躍者一直在這場與中國政府的爭端中尋求來自外國政府的幫助,特別是德國和美國的。中國一向反對外國干涉,稱其為“國內事務”或“內部事務”,但它選擇作為外國勢力干涉香港。這違背了自己的“一國兩制” 的政策。


Jeremiah B. & Pepe

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