G7 leaders back Hong Kong’s autonomy

New Delhi [India]: Leaders of the G7 member countries have backed Honk Kong’s autonomy as laid out in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, and called for calm in the city engulfed in anti-government protests.

“The G7 reaffirms the existence and importance of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 on Hong Kong and calls for violence to be avoided,” a joint statement issued by leaders of the G7 countries on Monday read.

The semi-autonomous region has witnessed 12 consecutive weeks of protests, which began after the pro-Beijing administration of Hong Kong announced a controversial extradition bill that would have allowed authorities to send criminal suspects to mainland China for prosecution.

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That bill has since been shelved, but protesters have continued their calls for more democracy in the special administrative region, demonstrating against the increased influence of China’s mainland on daily life in the Asian financial hub.

They say they are fighting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement that enshrines a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong since the handover to China.

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