UK summons Chinese ambassador over HK 'breaches' - RTHK
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UK summons Chinese ambassador over HK 'breaches'

2020-11-12 HKT 18:39
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  • UK summons Chinese ambassador over HK 'breaches'
Britain on Thursday summoned China's top diplomat in London after accusing Beijing of breaking its international treaty obligations by ousting four pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong's legislature on security grounds.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said Ambassador Liu Xiaoming had been called into the Foreign Office to hear London's "deep concerns at these latest actions".

"The UK will continue to call out these violations of Hong Kong's rights and freedoms and hold China to the obligations it freely assumed under international law," he added.

Hours earlier, Britain said that China had once again breached the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

"Beijing’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong constitutes a clear breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration," said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Dennis Kwok, Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung were stripped of their seats on Wednesday, moments after a new National People's Congress Standing Committee resolution on public officials in the SAR was announced. The entire pan-democratic camp in Legco has since resigned over the disqualifications.

"China has once again broken its promises and undermined Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. The UK will stand up for the people of Hong Kong, and call out violations of their rights and freedoms. With our international partners, we will hold China to the obligations it freely assumed under international law," Raab said in a statement.

Britain said this was the third time that Beijing had breached the Joint Declaration.

It said the first breach was the mainland's abduction of Causeway Bay bookseller Lee Bo in late 2015. Four of Lee's colleagues also disappeared around the same time, later turning up in custody on the mainland.

The second breach, London said, was Beijing's imposition of the national security law in Hong Kong at the end of June.

Raab's deputy, Nigel Adams, told parliament on Thursday that it was considering possible sanctions on individuals over China's actions.

"We will continue to consider designations under our Magnitsky-style sanctions regime," said Adams, Britain's minister for Asia, referring to sanctions similar to those imposed on those deemed responsible for human rights abuses under the US Magnitsky Act. He was asked by lawmakers if Britain would sanction Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Adams said it would not be helpful to speculate on names at this stage. (AFP/Reuters/RTHK)
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Last updated: 2020-11-13 HKT 09:51