Britain No Longer Has Any Responsibility For Hong Kong, Says China

Beijing: Britain no longer has any responsibility for Hong Kong and needs to stop "gesticulating" about its former colony, China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after the British government reiterated its commitment to the joint declaration with China on Hong Kong.

Protesters tried to storm Hong Kong's legislature on the anniversary of the city's 1997 return to Chinese rule on Monday, using a metal trolley and poles to smash windows amid anger over planned legislation that would allow extraditions to China.

China two years ago announced that it considered the joint declaration, which laid the blueprint over how the city would be ruled after its return to China, was a historical document that no longer had any practical significance.

Britain says the declaration remains in force and is a legally valid treaty to which it is committed to upholding, a point repeated by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Sunday.

Ahead of the 22nd anniversary of the handover on Monday, Hunt also said that recent protests over the extradition bill made it even more important to reiterate that Britain's commitment to the Sino-British Joint Declaration was unwavering.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Britain's rights and obligations under the joint declaration had ended.

"Britain has no so-called responsibility for Hong Kong. Hong Kong matters are purely an internal affair for China. No foreign country has a right to interfere," Geng told a daily news briefing.

"Recently Britain has continuously gesticulated about Hong Kong, flagrantly interfering. We are extremely dissatisfied with this and resolutely opposed," he added.

"We urge Britain to know its place and stop interfering in any form in Hong Kong matters and do more for its prosperity and stability rather than the opposite."

  • Published in World

Stephen Hawking: ‘The way Britain shares its wealth led to Brexit’

Physics genius Stephen Hawking has called for a reassessment of how wealth is viewed in Britain in the wake of the UK’s vote to exit the European Union.

In an opinion piece for the Guardian newspaper on Friday, Hawking said it would be “foolish to ignore the role that wealth does and doesn’t play in our society” in the aftermath of the June 23 referendum.

The professor, who suffers with motor neuron disease, said although he was stung by the ‘Leave’ vote: “If I’ve learned one lesson in my life it is to make the best of the hand you are dealt.

Now we must learn to live outside the EU, but in order to manage that successfully we need to understand why British people made the choice that they did. I believe that wealth, the way we understand it and the way we share it, played a crucial role in their decision.

He said wealth has an important role in academic terms, as the EU provided grants for science and for him personally in terms of medical care for his severe disability.

New enterprises and “cathedral projects” are now being invested in and more must follow, said Hawking. He described these as “the modern equivalent of the grand church buildings, constructed as part of humanity’s attempt to bridge heaven and Earth.

These ideas are started by one generation with the hope a future generation will take up these challenges.

These could help address a number of “global and serious” issues like “climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

Hawking warned that failing to deal with these issues would hand a victory to “the forces that contributed to Brexit, the envy and isolationism not just in the UK but around the world that spring from not sharing.

If we do this, then there is no limit to what humans can achieve together.

  • Published in World
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