China’s ambassador to the UK has accused ministers of “gross interference” in China’s domestic politic over protest raised after the introduction of security law in Hong Kong last week.
Boris Johnson announced that up to 3 million Hong Kong citizens who hold British National Overseas (BNO) passports would be given a route to UK citizenship after the law, which campaigners say dramatically curtails their freedom to protest, was introduced.
Dominic Raab has described the law as a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration between China and the UK which pledged to up hold “one nation, two systems” in the former British colony.
Protests following the law have seen hundreds of arrests in the city.
But Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said Britain would “face consequences” if it continued its interference.
“The UK government keeps making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs,” Ambassador Xiaoming told reporters in an online media conference, saying it had made unwarranted accusations about the security law.
He said the British National Overseas offer was a “gross interference in China’s internal affairs.”
A defiant Mr Liu said: “China rules Hong Kong by the basic law, not the joint declaration.”
“We want to be your friend. We want to be your partner.
“But if you want to make China a hostile country, you will have to bear the consequences,” he said.
Mr Liu said the security law protects Hong Kong and “will end the chaos and restore order” to the city after months of protests against what demonstrators saw as growing encroachment by China.
“The UK side knows well that Hong Kong is no longer under its colonial rule and that Hong Kong has returned to China and is now part of China,” he said.
“The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong after handover.”
Lasr week Mr Raab said he wanted a positive relationship with China but Beijing had “broken its promise” to the people of Hong Kong through its “flagrant assault” on freedom of speech and right of peaceful assembly.