UK summons Chinese ambassador over 'deep concern' for new security law

 UK summons Chinese ambassador over
# 02 July 2020 09:16 (UTC +04:00)

The Foreign Office has summoned the Chinese ambassador to make clear the UK's "deep concern" over the new Hong Kong national security law, APA reports citing Sky News.

Liu Xiaoming was called to a meeting with the Foreign Office's permanent under-secretary Sir Simon McDonald on Wednesday, hours after China imposed the legislation on the city.

Sir Simon made clear the UK's "deep concern" over the new law, which was proposed a month ago and came into effect at 11 pm in Hong Kong on Tuesday - without the details being published first.

He reiterated that the law breaches the Sino-British Joint Declaration which was signed in 1984 and gave Hong Kong almost full autonomy for 50 years after Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997.

It is only the second time a Chinese ambassador has been called to the Foreign Office about Hong Kong since 1984.

The new security law drawn up by Beijing makes secessionist, subversive, or "terrorist" activities illegal in Hong Kong - as well as foreign intervention in the city's internal affairs.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab offered 2.9 million people in Hong Kong citizenship rights on Wednesday as police in the city started arresting peaceful protesters for carrying leaflets supporting Hong Kong independence on the 23rd anniversary of the handover.

Accusing China of a "grave and deeply disturbing" breach of the joint declaration, Mr Raab said the "bespoke" visa route would let British Nationals Overseas - people who were Hong Kong citizens before 1997 - and their dependents come from Hong Kong to work or study in the UK for five years.