Anson Chan, the number two official in Hong Kong when the UK handed the colony back to China in 1997, has criticised David Cameron for failing to stand up for democracy in the -territory.
Mrs Chan said the British prime minister had neglected to voice support for Hong Kong when he met Li Keqiang, the Chinese -premier, last week.
Their meeting took place amid a fierce debate in Hong Kong over relations with China following Beijing’s recent publication of a controversial white paper suggesting that there were limits to the territory’s democracy.
The paper warned that the autonomy Hong Kong was granted under the 1984 Sino-UK Joint Declaration that led to the handover was “not an inherent power” but rather one that flowed from China’s central leadership.
“It is a very sad day for Hong Kong in the wake of the white paper when all three parties – China, Great Britain and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government – who have a crucial role to play in the faithful implementation of the Joint Declaration .?.?. decide to walk away from their commitments to the people of Hong Kong and the rest of the world,” Mrs Chan said in an -interview.
The white paper, which sparked concern about judicial independence in Hong Kong, came before an unofficial referendum that backers hope will put pressure on the regional government to ensure the planned introduction of universal suffrage gives voters a true choice in future elections for Hong Kong’s top political job, the chief executive.
Mrs Chan said Britain was caving in to pressure from China because of concern for the impact on trade relations.
“If you roll over and pull your punches, it just encourages Beijing to be even more demanding the next time round,” she said.
Mr Cameron made no mention of the white paper in his joint statement with the Chinese premier. A spokesperson for the UK’s Foreign Office said that the prime minister had told Mr Li that the best way to ensure prosperity in Hong Kong was “through a transition to universal suffrage which meets the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong”.
Hong Kong is drafting proposals to introduce universal suffrage for the 2017 poll for chief executive. Critics say Beijing will allow only those candidates it has vetted.
A group called Occupy Central that wants voters to play a role in nominating chief executive candidates launched a 10-day-long referendum on Friday that it hopes will show the -growing concern at the path the Hong Kong government has taken under C?Y Leung, the pro-Beijing chief executive.
By the early hours of Monday, more than 700,000 votes had been cast online and at polling stations.
Occupy Central is threatening to block an important business district if the Hong Kong government does not come up with a proposal that givers voters a genuine choice.
Mrs Chan also criticised HSBC and Standard Chartered following claims that they stopped advertising in the anti-China Apple Daily newspaper under pressure from Beijing.
“Why is it that international conglomerates like HSBC and Standard Chartered should give in to pressure from the [Chinese] liaison office to lift their advertisements from Apple Daily?” said Mrs Chan, who wrote to the banks seeking explanations.
“You would think that an international bank like HSBC, with its corporate presence all over the world and its influence – that they can withstand this sort of pressure.
“It must matter to them that we continue to enjoy an unfettered press and free flow of information.”
HSBC and Standard Chartered both denied the claims, saying their advertising decisions were purely commercial. Neither bank would give details on how long they had advertised with Apple Daily.
Mrs Chan said Anita Fung, HSBC’s Hong Kong chief executive officer, had not replied to a request to guarantee that the bank would not undermine the rights and freedoms enshrined in the “one -country, two systems” -principle that guides the territory’s relationship with China.
Asked to explain why Ms Fung had not responded, HSBC said: “We seek to abide by the rules and regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate.”
陈方安生(Anson Chan)批评英国首相戴维?卡梅伦(David Cameron)未能站出来支持香港的民主。1997年英国将香港主权交还中国时，陈方安生是当地职位第二高的官员。
一个叫做“占领中环”（Occupy Central，简称“占中”）的团体希望选民们能够在提名行政长官候选人环节中发挥作用。该团体上周五发起一场为期10天的公投，希望展示民众对亲北京的香港特首梁振英(C?Y Leung)领导的政府所走的道路越来越担忧。