Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to the UK, has warned the UK against “making China a hostile country”, saying otherwise it will have to “bear consequences.”
Britain earlier took aim the national security law for Hong Kong which was unanimously passed by the top Chinese legislative body, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in a bid to boost security in the country. The envoy to the UK retorted arguing “UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong.
Liu has referred to Hong Kong as the territory that is “no longer under colonial rule” but that is part of China, expressing hope that the UK won’t interfere in the Asian country’s internal affairs.
He contended that the country would in no way “brook any external interference”, as no one should underestimate China’s determination to safeguard its sovereignty.
Following the adoption of the HK Security Law, the United Kingdom called out the move, with PM Johnson denouncing the legislation as one that breaches the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The ambassador tweeted in response in early July that “UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of “supervision” over Hong Kong whatsoever”, and stressed that Hong Kong issues are China’s internal affair alone and no business of the outside world’s.
In response, the United Kingdom moved to offer UK citizenship rights for nearly 3 million British Nationals Overseas (BNO) in Hong Kong and their immediate families, providing them opportunities to live in the UK for five years and then apply for settled status and citizenship. The move prompted criticism from Beijing, which blasted the UK for its attempt to get involved in the internal affairs of a sovereign country. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at the time China “reserves the right to take corresponding countermeasures”.
The national security law for Hong Kong was unanimously passed on 30 June by the top Chinese legislative body, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), and later signed by President Xi Jinping. The law aimed at boosting security and safety is seen by Hong Kong residents as a violation of their liberties. It outright bans secessionist, subversive, and terrorist activities, as well as any form of foreign interference in Hong Kong, which previously received special accommodation from the US.
Addressing the Huawei issue, as the UK has been weighing the prospect of backtracking on giving the Chinese telecoms giant access to the domestic market, Liu suggested it’s up to the UK if it opts to pay “higher price for lower quality.” He asserted that an agreement on Huawei “is a win-win example of UK-China collaboration,” referring to the move the UK made early this year, as it welcomed Huawei into Britain, allotting some space to its top-notch 5G technologies on the domestic market. The Whitehall has since been pressed by its western allies, primarily the US, to reconsider, with Washington citing “the security backdoors” in Huawei equipment that could allegedly be used by Beijing – the claims the Chinese side has vehemently denied.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now reportedly been offered a set of plausible reasons to back out of his previous decision to allow the Chinese firm Huawei to play a limited – up to 35 percent – role in the rollout of the UK’s 5G infrastructure and more specifically, supply some “non-core” components to this end.