Successive Conservative government have been naive and complacent in their dealing with the Chinese government. I pressed Ministers to stand up for democratic and human rights in Hong Kong. The UK ought to be pushing ahead with targeted sanctions against officials who abuse them.
Stephen Kinnock: Successive Conservative Governments since 2010 have been naive and complacent in their dealings with the Chinese Government. The resulting combination of over-dependence on China-based supply chains and the breaking of important international alliances has diminished our ability to exert influence on Beijing. Yet, despite these failings, there is clearly more that the UK could be doing for the people of Hong Kong. Will the Minister specify what the Government plan to do regarding citizenship for Hongkongers born after 1997? What consular support can he provide to the four BNO passport holders who are now detained in mainland China after attempting to flee? Will he commit to sanctioning the senior mainland Chinese Communist party and Hong Kong Executive officials who have been committing human rights abuses? It took the Government just days to sanction Belarusian officials. What, or who, is causing this delay?
Nigel Adams: We are working closely with the Home Office on our response for the BNOs, and there will be much more detail coming out in due course.
With regard to the cases that the hon. Member raises, we have raised the cases of the people detained in Shenzhen with the Chinese authorities in Hong Kong, and we have made it clear that due process should be followed. The rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong, including their rights to freedom of speech and assembly, are expressly guaranteed in the joint declaration, and rights committed to under the declaration must be upheld. Under the memoranda to the joint declaration, BNOs are entitled to consular assistance in third countries, but not in Hong Kong, Macau or mainland China. The Chinese authorities do not recognise dual nationality, and absolutely would not grant UK consular access for those individuals. On sanctions, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Andrew Rosindell).