23:48 GMT +318 October 2018
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    Hong Kong's Rights and Freedoms Must Be Respected - UK Foreign Office

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    Earlier in the day, Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee announced that the government of the Chinese special administrative region had banned the Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), which advocates for the region becoming an independent state.

    "We are concerned by the decision. The UK does not support Hong Kong independence, but Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and its rights and freedoms are central to its way of life, and it is important they are fully respected," the UK Foreign Office said in a statement.

    The HKNP was prohibited under a law that requires all organizations to register with law enforcement services.

    READ MORE: Hong Kong Challenged: China Scraps Historic Border Round Shenzhen Economic Zone

    Earlier this year, local police called for the party to be banned, stating that its members were trying to implement plans to make Hong Kong independent. According to Hong Kong’s local government, the party’s platform does not comply with the Chinese constitutional principle of "One country, two systems."

    China's southern region of Hong Kong, which became a British colony in 1842, was returned to China in 1997 on the condition that Beijing would adhere to the "one country, two systems" concept, which means that the region is to remain capitalist and would not have to comply with the Chinese socialist system until 2047.

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    party, ban, Hong Kong, China, United Kingdom
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