Former Hong Kong governor: China's proposed national security law should be on G7 agenda

FILE PHOTO: Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten in Hong Kong, China November 25, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

(Reuters) - The United Kingdom should ensure that China’s efforts to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong are on the agenda for the G7 meeting in June, Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong wrote in the Financial Times newspaper on Sunday.

The last governor of the former British colony said that Britain and its G7 allies should take a stance against Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘regime’, which he labeled as “an enemy of open societies”.

“While the rest of the world is preoccupied with fighting COVID-19, he (Xi) has in effect ripped up the Joint Declaration, a treaty lodged at the UN to guarantee Hong Kong’s way of life till 2047”, Patten wrote in the newspaper.

China has proposed imposing national security laws on Hong Kong as Communist Party rulers in Beijing on Friday unveiled details of the legislation that critics see as a turning point for the former British colony, which enjoys many freedoms, including an independent legal system and right to protest, not allowed on the mainland.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft