UK threatens China with sanctions over Hong Kong

General view of the lobby during the press tour, after parts of the building were stormed by protesters on 01 July, in Hong Kong, China, 03 July 2019. On 01 July, the 22nd anniversary of the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China, protesters against a contentious extradition bill to China stormed the Legislative Council for more than 11 hours, including a three-hour rampage inside the building that left a trail of damage. Eventually police evicted protesters from the building and fired tear gas to disperse them. EPA-EFE/RITCHIE B. TONGO

UK threatens China with sanctions over Hong Kong


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The British foreign secretary and aspirant prime minister Jeremy Hunt threatened China with “serious consequences” over its treatment of protesters in Hong Kong.

Hunt refused to rule-out sanctions against the world’s second-biggest economy. Trying to avoid a self-fulfilling prophecy, Hunt told the BBC that the UK would not just “gulp and move on” if China cracks down on protesters.

The UK claims a right to intervene on the basis of its bilateral agreement with China in 1984, which handed the 150-year old colony to China. Leaving Hong Kong in 1997, the UK had secured an agreement that Hong Kong would continue to enjoy a degree of economic autonomy and individual liberties that is unlike mainland China. Since 1997, when Hong Kong was surrendered to China, the former colony has been ruled under the “one country, two systems” principle.

In view of the recent crackdown on protestors, China’s ambassador to London was summoned to the Foreign Office on Wednesday. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said relations between China and the UK have been damaged by Hunt’s comments, condemning the waving of the colonial British flag by protestors who stormed the Legislative Council. He recalled that under British rule there was neither a democracy nor a right to protest.

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