Theresa May must not sacrifice Hong Kong for trade favours from the People’s Republic

Originally published on Hong Kong Free Press 01/02/2018.
The Foreign Office and its ministers have talked tough when it comes to the Sino-British Joint declaration.
Last summer, they quickly rebutted Beijing’s claims that this legally binding agreement was a mere historic piece of paper. What is more, in early January, the Minister for Asia Mark Field told British parliamentarians:
Please be assured that there is and must be no trade-off between human rights, whether in Hong Kong or in any other part of the world, and any Brexit-related trade matters. I know that there will be ongoing debates in the House, but please be assured that that is my position as Minister and that of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Yet the general expectation is that this is exactly what will happen. Brexit Britain needs trade deals and Beijing knows it. According to academics in the UK, China views the British Prime Minister as a “biddable leader” and a “paper tiger”.

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