HL Deb 23 February 1995 vol 561 cc75-6WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the alternative ways in which China might fulfil her obligations under the joint declaration regarding the United Nations covenants, other than acceding to the covenants, and on what occasions these have been suggested to the Chinese Government.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey

The Sino-British Joint Declaration obliges China to ensure that the provisions of the covenants, as applied to Hong Kong, remain in force. It clearly means that all the provisions of the two covenants now applied to Hong Kong, including the reporting provisions, shall continue to apply. We have made our views known to the Chinese Government as to how it may fulfil its obligations under the joint declaration. One way to implement the reporting obligations would be for China to accede to the covenants in respect of the whole of its territory. Alternatively, we believe it would be feasible for China to assume reporting obligations under the covenant in respect of Hong Kong only. We continue to discuss this question in the joint liaison group. These discussions remain confidential under the terms of Annex II to the joint declaration.