The Chinese Government has broken multiple conditions set by the UK when Hong Kong was passed on to Beijing’s stewardship. Fresh protests broke out recently in the former British territory over a new security law imposed by Beijing that means people in Hong Kong can be extradited for trial to the mainland. On the 23rd anniversary of the handover from Britain to China, crowds defied a ban on protests and gathered on the streets where there were large numbers of riot police. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said China’s passing of the controversial law in Hong Kong is “a grave step”. He said: “Despite the urging of the international community, Beijing has chosen not to step back from imposing this legislation.
“China has ignored its international obligations regarding Hong Kong. This is a grave step, which is deeply troubling.”
But while the UK looks to stand by Hong Kongers, Chinese state-backed media have launched attacks on the British Government.
The Global Times newspaper – known as a mouthpiece for the Communist Party in China – in Beijing published a report this week which claimed the UK wants to maintain “colonial influence” in Hong Kong.
It added: “Chinese analysts said on Monday that the actions of the UK are more of a bluff since they can’t harm China, but will only damage itself.”
The report also quoted an unnamed ‘expert’ who claimed the UK and the US were to blame for tensions in Hong Kong.
The ‘expert’ said: “The UK, as a crucial member of the Five Eyes Alliance, has used its influence in Hong Kong to collect intelligence about China and influence the city’s politics to favour the West after 1997.
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“But given excessive provocation against China led by the US since last year, China has decided not to tolerate their inappropriate influence anymore.
“So the Johnson administration will definitely feel the pain and will act echoing angry conservative politicians in Britain.”
In 1997, the UK handed ownership of Hong Kong to China in a deal that saw the thriving region change hands but maintain its own autonomy.
The deal was intended to restrict China’s influence over the former British territory and ensure Hong Kong control its own legislative arrangements, have its own free and independent elections while Beijing controlled foreign policy and basic law.
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Intended to last for at least 50 years, the deal was also known as ‘one country-two systems’, and granted Hong Kong freedom not experienced by other major cities in China.
As has become clear as protests brought Hong Kong to standstill last year, the deal has since been resisted by China with Xi Jinping’s rise to power proving to be the major catalyst.
When protests spiked in November, expert on Chinese politics Steve Tsang highlighted that the Chinese media lied about the realities of the demonstrations.
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He told the BBC at the time: “People in China now do have a sense of what is happening in Hong Kong, but not in the sense of what you [the UK media] have been reporting here.
“What they are seeing in China is what the government wants them to see, which is a whole bunch of very spoiled young people…acting under the inspiration and direction of foreign black hands.
“And the heroic Hong Kong police force is working with the Hong Kong government to deal with it in a very measured way, that’s the kind of image people will be getting.”