The British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has warned China that the UK “will not look the other way,” if the Chinese President Xi Jinping refuses to halt the new security law in Hong Kong.
Raab told the House of Commons the imposition of national security law by the Chinese government over Hong Kong completely “undermines” the one country two systems policy.
The Foreign Secretary gave a stark warning, he said, “If China continues down this path, we shall consider our response.”
Raab called on the Chinese authorities, to “reconsider and step back from the brink.”
He further warned, “If China enacts this law, we will change arrangements for British National Overseas (BNO) holders.”
The BNO passport was created for the citizens of Hong Kong before Britain gave Hong Kong back to Chinese rule in 1997.
“We don’t oppose Hong Kong passing its own national security law, we do strongly oppose such an authoritarian law being imposed by China in breach of international law.
“We’re not seeking to intervene in China’s internal affairs, only to uphold China to its international commitments just as China expects of the United Kingdom.
“We don’t seek to prevent China’s rise, far from it, we welcome China as a leading member of the international community and we look to engage with China on everything from trade to climate change.
“And it is precisely because we recognise China’s role in the world that we expect it to live up to the international obligations and the international responsibilities that come with it.”
“To be very clear and specific about this, the imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by the government in Beijing rather than through Hong Kong’s own institutions lies in direct conflict with Article 23 of China’s own basic law,” the Foreign Secretary told Parliament.
“And it lies in direct conflict with China’s international obligations freely assumed under the Joint Declaration.”
He added: “There is time for China to reconsider, there is a moment for China to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and respect China’s own international obligations.
“If China continues down this current path, if it enacts this national security law, we will consider what further response we make, working with those international partners and others.”
Raab concluded, “The UK will not look the other way if China continues down this path.”