- Liu sounded a warning that the United Kingdom “has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision” in Hong Kong.
- Liu also criticized the British government's Huawei decision in building its 5G network.
- Last week, the United Kingdom announced its intention to extend a pathway to citizenship to the inhabitants of Hong Kong.
China today accused the United Kingdom of “gross interference in Chinese internal affairs,” following Britain’s recent decision to facilitate access to citizenship for Hong Kong residents, in reaction to its great opposition to Beijing’s new security law. The accusation was made by the Chinese ambassador in London, Liu Xiaoming.
At a press conference, in which he sounded a warning that the United Kingdom “has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision” in Hong Kong, Liu also addressed China’s concern and strong opposition to the recent decision by the UK.
This move constitutes gross interference in China’s internal affairs and openly tramples on the basic norms of international relations. Hong Kong is a part of China, Hong Kong affairs are Chinese internal affairs and there should be no external interference. One important task is to prevent, suppress and punish collusion with a foreign country which endangers national security. No one should underestimate the firm determination of China to safeguard its security.”
The Chinese diplomat also criticized the fact that British politicians portrayed China as a “threat” or “a hostile country,” alluding to the debate that opened following the possible participation of the technological giant Huawei in the development of the network 5G in the UK.
“We want to be your friend. We want to be your partner. But if you want to make China a hostile country, you will have to bear the consequences,” Liu Xiaoming told reporters. He did not say what consequences he had in mind or which measures would be taken by Beijing.
Last week, the United Kingdom announced its intention to extend a pathway to citizenship to the inhabitants of Hong Kong, in view of the security law imposed by Beijing. In this sense, Downing Street said that it will change the requirements to access a British passport, facilitating them to allow Hong Kong citizens to live and work in the United Kingdom and, in the long run, to access British citizenship more easily.
Currently, there are about 350,000 passport holders, a number that has almost doubled since the start of the Hong Kong protest against Beijing’s central power about a year ago. About 2.9 million inhabitants, all of whom were born before 1997, are also eligible.
The national security law, enacted in late June after a wave of demonstrations to demand fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, provides for the punishment of separatist, “terrorist” activists, subversion, or even foreign interference in the autonomous Chinese territory.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, repeated today that the security law constitutes a “clear and serious” violation of the joint declaration, signed in 1984, between the United Kingdom and China. The agreement opened the door to the beginning of the process of retrocession, which culminated in 1997 with the return of Hong Kong to China.