21 August 2020
Our reference: MC2020/16380
The Lord Alton of Liverpool
House of Lords
Dear Lord Alton,
Thank you for your email of 10 August to the Foreign Secretary about Hong Kong. I am replying as the Minister for Asia.
We are deeply concerned by the arrest of Jimmy Lai, and nine other individuals, in Hong Kong. Freedom of the press is explicitly guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and Basic law, and supposedly protected under Article 4 of the National Security Law. These arrests are further evidence that the National Security Law is being used as a pretext to silence opposition.
We will continue to raise our concerns directly with the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities. The undertakings made by China in the Joint Declaration, including the right to freedom of expression, an independent judiciary and the rule of law are essential to Hong Kong’s prosperity and way of life.
We will continue to engage and coordinate our actions with international partners as befits our historic commitment to the people of Hong Kong, to call out the violation of their rights and freedoms, and to hold China to their international obligations freely assumed under international law.
Nigel Adams MP
Minister of State for Asia