China strongly protests to UK over foreign secretary’s Hong Kong remarks
China has filed stern representations with the United Kingdom over remarks by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accusing Beijing of violating the autonomy of Hong Kong with the passage of a national security law in the global financial hub.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that London had no jurisdiction in or supervision over Hong Kong.
Raab on Tuesday called on China to withdraw what he referred to as an “authoritarian” national security law for Hong Kong, claiming that it risked ruining one of the jewels of Asia’s economy as well as China’s own reputation.
Hong Kong’s legislature debated and passed the Beijing-proposed law last Wednesday, potentially criminalizing sedition, secession, and subversion.
The bill also requires that China’s national anthem be taught in schools and sung by organizations, and imposes jail terms or fines against those who disrespect it.
Despite Western criticism, however, Beijing insists that the new law does not pose a threat to Hong Kong’s autonomy and the interests of foreign investors, noting that it is merely meant to prevent terrorism and foreign interference there, which were evident in violent, Western-backed protest rallies and riots there against the government last year.