UK WARNS CHINA: DON’T DESTROY HONG KONG, ASIA’S JEWEL
United Kingdom warned Beijing on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, to step back from the brink over an “authoritarian” national security law in Hong Kong that it said risked destroying one of the jewels of Asia’s economy while ruining the reputation of China.
China’s parliament last week approved a decision to create laws for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference, Guy Faulconbridge wrote for Reuters. Mainland security and intelligence agents may be stationed in the city for the first time.
“There is time for China to reconsider, there is a moment for China to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and respect China’s own international obligations,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told parliament. “The sad reality is that if China continues down this track, it will be strangling what has long been the jewel in the economic crown,” he added when asked about the future of the Hong Kong dollar peg.
Raab said the security law was in breach of the “one country, two systems” principle enshrined in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, and also conflicted with Article 23 of China’s own basic law. Raab, though, cautioned that he did not expect China to change course. “We think that it is unlikely that will happen,” he said. If it goes ahead, Raab said the United Kingdom will form an alliance of countries to resist China, whose $14 trillion economy dwarfs every Western economy apart from the United States which has a $21.4 trillion economy.