China’s authoritarian Communist state accused Boris Johnson of provoking it by suspending an extradition treaty covering the former British territory in the wake of attempts to stifle widespread pro-democracy protests
The extradition treaty between the UK and Hong Kong was yesterday suspended by Foreign Secretary Domenic Raab, because of anger at alleged Chinese human rights abuses in the region, as well as against its Uighur Muslim population.
Now China has threatened to target major United Kingdom firms like HSBC, and Jaguar Land Rover with sanctions, HSBC has previously been criticised for backing the Chinese clampdown in Hong Kong as it sought to secure its position, founded in Hong Kong in 1865 but has been based in London since 1993.
Jaguar Land Rover meanwhile sees China as agrowth market for its latest brands.
Last night China warned Britain that there will be consequences to suspending the treaty with Hong Kong, and a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy said: “Beijing had expressed its concerns over the UK interfering in Hong Kong matters ‘which are internal affairs of China’. he also warned that the UK will ‘bear consequences’.
Eyes are now set to be on Mr. Pompeo’s, (US Secretary of State), visit to London.
Mr. Pompeo said: ‘Great to be back in London to reaffirm the special relationship we share with our closest ally.
‘Looking forward to meeting with Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab as we tackle our most pressing global issues in combating Covid-19 and addressing our shared security challenges.’
UK not only suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong but also slapped an arms embargo on the territory in response to China’s national security law, just before the envoy arrived, Mr Raab said the measures were a ‘reasonable and proportionate’ response to the law imposed by Beijing – a law Washington has joined in criticizing.
The Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming criticised the Government’s approach in a combative BBC interview on Sunday, denouncing Britain for ‘dancing to the tune’ of the US and accusing Western countries of trying to foment a ‘new cold war’ with China.