In May and June 2020, the British opposed China`s implementation of a national security law in Hong Kong that would be contrary to the provisions of the [initial research] declaration. The British government announced that if the Chinese continued, the UK would expand the British national (overseas) rights of 3 million Hong Kong residents (all born before the transfer of sovereignty) and pave the way for them to become British citizens. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on the UK to “resign… “There is not a single word or clause in the UK`s general declaration that gives the United Kingdom any responsibility for Hong Kong upon its return.”  Once the law comes into force, The British government said Beijing was violating the joint statement: With this and other changes ten years after its return, in 2007, The Guardian wrote that “nothing has changed since handing over to China 10 years ago,” but that was in relation to the situation before the last governor Chris Patten introduced democratic reforms three years before the transfer. An opportunity for democracy had been missed as Hong Kong had just begun to develop three important elements for a Western democracy (rule of law, official responsibility and political class outside the one-party system), but the Sinobrian agreement had prevented each of these changes from continuing, according to Jonathan Fenby of the Guardian.  [Notice] The High-profile efforts of the British government in Hong Kong to increase democratic participation in the territory`s government therefore appear to have been too little, too late. Negotiations with China on the transfer of sovereignty began at a time when unofficial representation at Legco was only symbolic and was limited to selected elites. After the 1984 agreement to allow the Chinese government to develop a basic law, there was little that could be done to reform the system outside the framework of the law. The provisional legislative power will remain in force until 1998 or 1999 and, although China has committed to introducing a two-stage Legco where half of its direct voters will be elected, it remains to be seen how such regulation will actually work in practice. China`s foreign minister said the elections “embody democratic, free and open principles” and that anyone who meets China`s criteria is allowed to run.
(22) Eligibility could be limited to a number of parties or, more likely, candidates could be required to insult themselves for a restrictive promise that would exclude anyone who might be critical of the SAR or the Beijing authorities. The future of a truly elected government in Hong Kong is a very open question. The transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong is known as the transfer of Hong Kong (or simply the transfer, including return to mainland China) at midnight on 1 July 1997, when the United Kingdom ended the administration of the Hong Kong colony and ceded control of the area to China. Hong Kong has become a particular administrative region and continues to have government and economic systems distinct from those of mainland China. [doubtful – discuss] Faced with increased openness by the government of the People`s Republic of China and economic reforms on the continent, Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, sought the agreement of the People`s Republic of China on the continuation of the British presence on the territory.  On 19 December 1984, after years of negotiations, the British and Chinese leaders signed a formal pact authorizing the colony`s turnover in 1997, in exchange for formulating a Chinese Communist government policy with a “one country, two systems”.