Britain going down 'wrong path' over Hong Kong, says China
|World news today July 19: China warns UK over basing aircraft carrier in the Pacific|
|World news today: Hongkongers could be extradited to China under new security law|
|UK considers extending Hongkongers' visa rights if China pursues security laws|
|London and Beijing have been at loggerheads since China passed a controversial new security law for the former British colony of Hong Kong. Photo: AFP/John D McHugh|
China warned on Monday that Britain was heading down "a wrong path" as Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was expected to announce the suspension of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, raising tensions between the countries, reported AFP.
Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China's foreign ministry, told a regular press briefing that Beijing would "firmly counter" any interference in its internal affairs, also slamming suggestions it was mistreating minorities in Xinjiang as "slander".
"We urge the UK not to go further down this wrong path, in order to avoid further damage to China-UK relations," Wang said.
"Recent erroneous remarks and measures concerning Hong Kong have seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations... China strongly condemns this and firmly opposes it".
|Wang Wenbin: ‘We urge the UK to take no more steps down the wrong path, so as to avoid further damage to China-UK relations.’ Photo: Tingshu Wang/Reuters|
Mr Raab raised his concern that the extradition treaty with Hong Kong was being suspended 'immediately and indefinitely' because of concerns that the new national security law could allow cases to be transferred to mainland China.
The extradition treaty means that, if someone in Hong Kong is suspected of a crime in the UK, the British authorities can ask Hong Kong to hand them over to face justice – and vice versa.
A new security law imposed by China on Hong Kong last month has drawn widespread criticism in Britain and elsewhere, and Raab is due later Monday to announce a package of measures similar to those already introduced by the United States, Canada and Australia.
Tensions between the UK and China have soared over a number of topics recently, commented SCMP.
Britain recently bowed to sustained pressure from Washington and ordered the phased removal of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.
|Mr Raab told MPs yesterday the extradition treaty with Hong Kong was being suspended 'immediately and indefinitely' because of concerns that the new national security law could allow cases to be transferred to mainland China. Photo: AFP|
Amid the diplomatic firestorm, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Britain on July 20. He will meet Boris Johnson and Mr Raab today, with the subject of China expected to dominate the discussions, reported Daily Mail.
US sources said they will discuss ways to 'deal with' Beijing, including its 'aggression' in the South China Sea.
|The risk of a "hot" conflict between the US - China confrontation |
US-China diplomatic officials met last month in Hawaii, amid fears of a confrontation that was pushing the two countries to the brink of war.
|Chinese ambassador to US said "We will not participate in such a ruling" when asked for its violation of international law |
Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai said that the U.S. has to make "a fundamental choice" as to whether it's ready to live with China in peace ...
|US considers travel ban on millions of Chinese Communist Party members |
The Trump administration is reportedly weighing imposing a travel ban on Chinese Communist party members and their family, with President Donald Trump saying further sanctions ...