London , 2 June 2020 (dpa/MIA) – British Foreign Secretary Dommic Raab on Tuesday urged China’s ruling Communist Party to “step back from the brink” and drop a new security law for Hong Kong, saying it would undermine Beijing’s commitment to political autonomy for the territory.
Britain “strongly opposes such an authoritarian law being imposed by China,” Raab told parliament after discussing Hong Kong with his US and other counterparts late Monday.
China’s nominal parliament approved the security law last week, prompting more protests in Hong Kong and criticism from Western governments.
“We have not yet seen the detailed, published text of the legislation, but I can tell the house that if legislation in these terms is imposed by China on Hong Kong it … would be a clear violation of China’s international obligations,” Raab said.
Britain handed control of Hong Kong to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of colonial rule. Beijing agreed to uphold basic freedoms in the territory under a 1984 Sino-British declaration.
“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,” Raab said.
“We urge the government of China to work with the people of Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong government, to end the recent violence and to resolve the underlying tensions based on political dialogue.”
China on Monday threatened “counter-attacks” after US President Donald Trump said he would “begin the process” of revoking Hong Kong‘s special trading status if Beijing persists with the security law.