China has warned Canada and the UK of consequences for meddling in Hong Kong and its internal affairs following the imposition of a sweeping new national security law.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said the UK’s offer of a path to citizenship for up to three million Hong Kong residents amounted to “gross interference”. Critics of the new law say it disintegrates Hong Kong’s freedoms as a semi-autonomous region.
“The UK government keeps making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs,” he told a virtual news conference.
Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming holds press conference on National Security Law in HKSARhttps://t.co/5zcuHJ9UVB
— Liu Xiaoming (@AmbLiuXiaoMing) July 6, 2020
The ambassador said a decision on exactly how China plans to respond would be made once it knew the details. Liu also warned the UK that if it decided against using Huawei’s technology to build its 5G network in the country, this would send a “very bad message to other Chinese businesses”.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab emphasised that the initiative to permit millions of Overseas British Nationals to come to the UK did not amount interference in China’s domestic affairs.
“We want a positive relationship with China… but the real issue here is one of trust, and whether China can be trusted to live up to its international obligations and its international responsibilities,” he said. “That’s the message that we are telegraphing along with many of our allies, and indeed many international partners around the world.”
Earlier, a spokesman for British PM Boris Johnson urged China not to interfere if people of Hong Kong sought to come to the UK. He added: “We are currently assessing the national security law and its legal ramifications in terms of extradition with Hong Kong.
“There are already extensive extradition safeguards in the UK. The courts are required to bar a person’s extradition to any country if it would be incompatible with their human rights or if the request appears to be motivated by their political opinion.”
China Warns Canada
Earlier, China issues similar warning to Canada and said Beijing would retaliate over the country’s response to a new national security law in Hong Kong.
Canada recently discontinued its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and suspended exports of sensitive military gear to the financial capital as Western nations voiced anxiety about the legislation’s impact on the HK’s special rights.
“China strongly condemns this and reserves the right to make a further response. All consequences arising therefrom will be borne by Canada,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular briefing. “Any attempt to put pressure on China will never succeed,” Zhao said.
“China urges Canada to immediately correct its mistakes and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs in any way, so as to avoid further damage to China-Canada relations.”
Ties between China and Canada Relations have tremendously decayed since Canadian authorities detained a top Huawei executive – Meng Wanzhou in December 2018, and China later arrested two Canadians, including a former diplomat.