China fury amid global pressure over security law
The UK and US said at a private session of the UN Security Council that the law would curtail the city’s freedoms.
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China, which blocked a formal meeting, warned them to “stop interfering”.
Hong Kong’s autonomy is guaranteed by the 1997 agreement under which it was returned to China from the UK.
It enjoys some freedoms – of the press and association – unseen in mainland China.
But there are fears the proposed law – which has sparked a wave of anti-mainland protests – could end Hong Kong’s unique status.
This week, Britain said that if China went forward with the law, it could offer British National (Overseas) passport holders a path to UK citizenship.
There are 350,000 BNO passport holders in Hong Kong who currently have the right to visit the UK for up to six months without a visa.
On Friday, the UK Home Office confirmed the new rights could be given to up to three million people with BNO status – as long as they applied for and were granted a passport.
China says all BNO passport holders are Chinese nationals, and if the UK changes this practice, it would violate international law.
Australia, Canada and the EU have also criticised the security law and its implications for Hong Kong.
Taiwan’s parliament has backed a plan to offer sanctuary to people who want to flee Hong Kong, but China – which considers Taiwan to be part of its own territory – has warned the island not to get involved.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian urged other countries to stop interfering in the matter.
“We will take necessary measures to resolutely counter the wrong acts of external forces interfering in Hong Kong affairs”, he said.
Source : Global Times | Photocredit : Google