Friday, 4 Dec 2020

Canada condemns removal of Hong Kong lawmakers as assault on its freedoms

An announcement is scheduled later on Thursday (Nov 12) regarding immigration for Hong Kong residents

OTTAWA (REUTERS) – Canada condemned China’s decision to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong as an assault on the former British colony’s freedoms, and is making an announcement later on Thursday (Nov 12) regarding immigration for Hong Kong residents.

“China’s decision to remove four democratically elected lawmakers from office in Hong Kong is a further assault on Hong Kong’s high degree of freedoms under the Sino-British Joint Declaration,” Canada’s Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement late on Wednesday.

“We are deeply disappointed that China has chosen to break its international obligations,” Mr Champagne added.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino is scheduled to make an announcement at 12pm ET on Thursday regarding Hong Kong residents and the 300,000 people there who hold Canadian passports.

Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement enshrined in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by then-Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy opposition lawmakers said on Wednesday they would resign in protest against the dismissal of four of their colleagues from the city assembly after Beijing gave local authorities new powers to further curb dissent.

Britain on Thursday said China had broken its main bilateral treaty on Hong Kong by imposing new rules to disqualify elected legislators, cautioning that it would consider sanctions as part of its response.

Britain summoned China’s ambassador, Mr Liu Xiaoming, to express its deep concerns.

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