UK warns China in latest report on HK

Dominic Raab

LONDON: In the latest six monthly report on Hong Kong, submitted by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to the Parliament, the UK has directly warned China not to interfere in Hong Kong legislature elections due to take place in September, and urged Beijing to abandon its plans to impose new security laws for the cosmopolitan city state.

District elections in November last year saw a record turnout with 57 per cent of the vote going to pro-democracy candidates, and now China fears that the pro-democracy candidates will do too good in the elections and might cancel the ballot.

In some of the strongest language ever seen, Raab warned Beijing against imposing new security laws bypassing the Hong Kong legislature that would be in direct conflict with international laws.

Raab said, “Such legislation would be a clear violation of China’s international obligations, including those made under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. “The proposals also include provision for the authorities in Hong Kong to report back to Beijing on progress in pursuing national security education of its people, which is a sobering prospect.”

Accusing Beijing of treating a member of the British Foreign Office staff in a way “amounting to torture”, Raab also attacked the Xi Jinping government’s brutal treatment of Simon Cheng, a former employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong, who was kept in custody for 15 days after travelling to the mainland.

Raab added that “China has not provided an adequate response on its undertaking to investigate Cheng’s mistreatment”. Raab also reiterated his promise that British National Overseas passport holders will be entitled to a 12-month extendable visa opening a path to citizenship.

China has been under strong international pressure ever since pro-democracy protests rocked Hong Kong for most of last year. The US last month stripped Hong Kong of its special status under its law. The special status treated Hong Kong separately from Mainland China for matters concerning trade export and economics control.

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