|Chinese to English: 改革开放后的中英关系 (Excerpt)|
|Source text - Chinese|
|Translation - English|
The 1997 Hong Kong Handover brought a new turning point in the development of Sino-British relations. The then British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had expressed many times that after the Handover, the concept of “One Country, Two Systems” had been successfully implemented, and that Hong Kong would continue to flourish under this arrangement. On the other hand, there still existed between the two sides some differences on the question of Hong Kong. Not only did Britain have huge economic interests in Hong Kong, but it also exercised significant influence over the political life of the former colony. Before the 1997 handover, Britain had vigorously pushed through democratic reform, and deliberately fostered the influence of the Pan-democratic Camp. After the handover, Britain repeatedly declared its “moral and political responsibility” for Hong Kong, continuously paying attention at a high level to such issues as the progress of democratic reform, the human rights situation, freedom of the press and Article 23 of the Basic Law. At the same time, it often supported Hong Kong’s Pan-democratic Camp in co-operation with America, thus interfering in the affairs of the Hong Kong Government, and obstructing the development of Sino-British relations. Up to July 2005, Britain had published its “Six Monthly Report on Hong Kong” 17 times, a report which focuses mainly on the rights of Hong Kong citizens and the human rights situation.
The interference of America and Britain became a destabilising factor in the development of the political situation in Hong Kong. On 1st July 2003, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the handover, the Pan-democratic camp organised a large-scale march demonstration opposing Article 23. When Tony Blair visited China in July 2003, wide-ranging discussions were held on the question of Hong Kong. Wen Jiabao stressed that a stable, flourishing Hong Kong not only serves the interests of all the Chinese people, including their Hong Kong compatriots, but also benefits the interests of foreign countries in Hong Kong. He thus expressed the hope that the relevant countries would do more towards the stability and development of Hong Kong.