Whitehall dancing to the tune of Washington

China's national flag (five-star red flag) and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are seen in China's Hong Kong, Oct 1, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

After the White House decided to treat China as the United States' main strategic rival and launched a coordinated campaign among its core allies to contain China's development, politicians in London have wasted no opportunity to dance to Washington's tune.

Be it the development of 5G, the fabrication of so-called human rights abuses in Xinjiang, "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea, so-called anti-democratic measures in Hong Kong and even the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, London has served as a reliable echo chamber for Washington's denigration of China.

Hence, London's unsolicited "half-year report on Hong Kong" does not stray from Washington's tried and tested line in slandering Beijing and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The report, compiled by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Office, claims that the National People's Congress' March 11 resolution to improve Hong Kong's electoral system "reverses China's promise to Hong Kong in the Basic Law of gradual progress towards a system of universal suffrage, and further hollows out the Legislative Council".

Yet Hong Kong would have realized 100 percent universal suffrage had the SAR not been diverted from the signposted path to full democracy by separatists and subversives.

By exploiting the flaws in the old electoral system, subversives who sneaked into the SAR's legislature used the power they enjoyed to promote their anti-China agenda by paralyzing the legislature and derailing the executive branch's work; some even invited foreign interference including foreign sanctions on the city's economy to the detriment of Hong Kong people's livelihoods.

In doing so, they forced the hand of the central authorities, who took decisive action by promulgating the National Security Law for Hong Kong and revamping the SAR's electoral system to fix the existing flaws.

Rather than for the sake of the well-being of Hong Kong people, Whitehall politicians wield the Sino-British Joint Declaration as a handy tool to embarrass or chide Beijing.

The declaration was intended to facilitate China taking back what the British had illegally grabbed from it; it doesn't give the British any authority or responsibility over Hong Kong after its return.

The joint declaration does not give the UK any responsibility over Hong Kong after the handover, nor does the UK have sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of "supervision" over Hong Kong. But like the US, the UK is prone to uttering holier-than-thou statements about other countries' affairs as a means to smear their image and stir up trouble.