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China’s dismissive critique of the U.K. treaty governing the return of Hong Kong raised new doubts about its commitment to the city’s autonomy and other international agreements.

On the eve of the handover’s 20th anniversary, the Chinese Foreign Ministry declared the Sino-British Joint Declaration a “historical document” that “no longer has any practical significance.” The ministry’s remarks came Friday in response to U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s pledge to defend the rights and freedoms guaranteed Hong Kong until 2047 under the treaty.

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