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G7 Foreign Minister's Joint Statement to China on Hong Kong

UK government Policy paper : G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting: Communiqué, London, 5 May 2021 : Published 5 May 2021

G7: "We remain gravely concerned by China’s decision fundamentally to erode democratic elements of the electoral system in Hong Kong. We call on China to act in accordance with its international commitments and its legal obligations."



"13. We encourage China, as a major power and economy with advanced technological capability, to participate constructively in the rules-based international system. It is in all of our interests, including China’s, to take action that addresses global challenges including climate change and biodiversity loss, to promote economic recovery from COVID-19 and to support the fight against the current pandemic and prevent future ones. We look for opportunities to work with China to promote regional and global peace, security and prosperity.

14. In line with its obligations under international and national law, we call on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. We continue to be deeply concerned about human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and in Tibet, especially the targeting of Uyghurs, members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, and the existence of a large-scale network of “political re-education” camps, and reports of forced labour systems and forced sterilisation. We agree the importance of tackling instances of forced labour through our own available domestic means, including through raising awareness and providing advice and support for our business communities. We strongly support independent and unfettered access to Xinjiang to investigate the situation on the ground. We continue to call therefore for such access for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

15. We recall our statement of 12 March and remain gravely concerned by China’s decision fundamentally to erode democratic elements of the electoral system in Hong Kong. We call on China to act in accordance with its international commitments and its legal obligations, including those enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, and to respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms. We call on China and the Hong Kong authorities to end the targeting of those who defend rights and freedoms and democratic values, to uphold the independence of the judicial system and to ensure cases are not transferred to the mainland.

16. As nations that support open societies and free and fair trade conducted within a system of transparent and predictable international rules and standards, we are united in our concern regarding practices that undermine such free and fair economic systems, including on trade, investment and development finance. We will work collectively to foster global economic resilience in the face of arbitrary, coercive economic policies and practices. We urge China to assume and fulfil obligations and responsibilities commensurate with its global economic role.

17. We encourage China to uphold its commitments to act responsibly in cyber space, including refraining from conducting or supporting cyber-enabled intellectual property theft.

18. To strengthen global cooperation on issues of concern to all we believe it is vital to ensure inclusive processes in international organisations. We support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in World Health Organisation forums and the World Health Assembly. The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic."

China 'strongly condemns' G7 rights criticism

RTHK 6 May 2021

China on Thursday said it "strongly condemns" a statement by the Group of Seven nations that accused Beijing of rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong.

The G7 made "unfounded accusations against China and openly intervened in China's internal affairs", said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

He said the group was engaged in the "wanton destruction of the norms of international relations".

Wang's remarks come after top diplomats from G7 nations Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan urged China to abide by its obligations under international and national law.

They said they were "deeply concerned" by human rights violations and abuses against the minority Uyghur Muslim population in China's western Xinjiang region and in Tibet.

The group also urged an end to the targeting of rights protesters in Hong Kong.

On Thursday, Wang repeated Beijing's long-held line that those issues were China's own matters.

He added that the G7 should do more to boost global economic recovery rather than causing "contradictions and differences" in the international community.

"We urge the relevant countries to face up to their own problems... and stop generalising of the concept of national security as well as other wrong practices," Wang said. (AFP)

Legislative Council June 1997 prior to handover.

By Badiucao

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