But the UK says the deal – known as a joint declaration – is under threat because the region has passed a new law that gives China new extended controls over Hong Kong residents. Some political analysts felt that an agreement was urgently needed, as there were fears that Hong Kong`s economy would collapse untreated in the 1980s. Concerns about land ownership in the new leased territories also contributed to the problem. Although discussions on Hong Kong`s future began in the late 1970s, the final date of the joint declaration was influenced by factual and economic factors rather than geopolitical imperatives.  It is significant that the legislation has been suspended as a result of the protests, which is a point that the leaders of the current protests will not lose, although they should also take note of what happened in 2014. PM denounces new security law and promises tailored visas for 2.9 million Hong Kongers The signing of the joint declaration has caused some controversy in the UK due to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher`s agreement with the Chinese Communist government, represented by Deng Xiaoping.  In the White Paper containing the Joint Statement, Her Majesty`s Government stated that „the alternative to the adoption of this agreement is not to reach an agreement“, a statement that refuted criticism that the Declaration had made too many concessions to China and highlighted China`s considerable influence during the negotiations.  The Prime Minister said: „We have made it clear that if China continues on this path, we are establishing a new path for those with British nationality status (overseas) to enter the UK and give them limited leave to live and work in the UK, and then apply for citizenship, and that is what we are going to do now.“ Hong Kong`s autonomy was guaranteed by the „one country, two systems“ agreement, enshrined in the joint declaration signed in 1984 by then-Chinese Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. China insists that the debate on universal suffrage is internal and denounces what it calls foreign interference by foreign governments. Even if Britain wanted to put pressure on Beijing, according to Lorenz Langer, a professor at the University of Zurich who studies the evolution of the Constitution in Hong Kong, there are few opportunities to legally impose on China the obligation to avail itself. „The more powerful China becomes, the less [the international community] can do,“ Langer said. „The joint declaration may be binding, but no one will apply it at this time against China`s will.“ The recent controversial decision by The Head of Government, Carrie Lam, to introduce new extradition laws between Hong Kong and mainland China is directly responsible for what is happening now.