China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, threatened the UK government after it announced the end of the extradition agreement with Hong Kong as a measure to avoid arbitrary arrests by authorities.
Liu disagreed with the United Kingdom’s response to the new national security law imposed on Hong Kong, arguing that by taking the decision to terminate the extradition agreement, he was interfering in China’s internal affairs while warning of possible consequences.
“China has never interfered in UK’s internal affairs. The UK should do the same to China. Otherwise it must bear the consequences,” Liu said.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, on Monday, July 20, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the decision to join the proposal of Australia, Canada, and the United States to suspend the agreement with the former British colony.
The measure taken by these governments prevents their citizens, who are in Hong Kong, from being victims of arbitrary arrests by the authorities after the CCP imposed the controversial security law that punishes acts of secession, subversion of state power, or anti-government activities.
As the National Review pointed out, the CCP could use Article 38 to prosecute acts that are illegal in China but legal in the West. In other words, Westerners could be arrested by security agents at the new Beijing base in the city for speaking openly about Western democracies.
According to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, [a citizen] “may be at greater risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds. He may violate the law without intent. If you are concerned about the new law, reconsider your need to stay in Hong Kong,” the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, the British foreign secretary’s announcements came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited London to discuss China, 5G technology, and a possible post-Brexit free trade agreement.
As the Guardian pointed out, the UK recently extended an arms embargo on Hong Kong, which was established after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. In addition, it was announced last week that the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei will be stripped of the country’s 5G network by 2027.
In response to recent statements by the British government, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy complained, “The UK side has gone even further down the wrong road in disregard of China’s solemn position and repeated representations.”
The editor-in-chief Hu Xijin of the Global Times, known for pushing the CCP’s propaganda, threatened that China would counteract the UK’s sanctions. It quoted unidentified observers as warning that the UK would “pay the price for its further moves against China [the CCP].”
the Chinese Communist Party has been accused of violating the Sino-British joint statement that was established after Hong Kong, a former British colony, was eventually taken back by the CCP. This provision guaranteed the Special Administrative Region the extension of its autonomy for 50 years.