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China threatens to retaliate agaisnt UK over UK citizenship plan for Hong Kong residents

12:17 | 03/07/2020

China will take countermeasures against the UK and promises that the UK would “bear all consequences” in case it grants residency to Hongkongers in response to the harsh new national security law. 

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china threatens to retaliate agaisnt uk over uk citizenship plan for hong kong residents
Senior Chinese officials on Thursday said the UK has no right to grant to Hongkongers a path to British residency and citizenship (Photo: Shutterstock)

Senior Chinese officials on Thursday said the UK has no right to grant to Hongkongers a path to British residency and citizenship. Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK also said any move to grant residency to BNO holders would violate the agreements between China and the UK.

Xiaoming also emphasized that all Chinese compatriots residing in Hong Kong are Chinese nationals.

China strongly condemns this and reserves the right to take further measures. The British side will bear all the consequences,” the foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian was quoted by The Guardian as saying at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

Earlier, British media reported that the British Foreign Ministry had summoned the Chinese ambassador on July 1 to express concerns about the national security laws for Hong Kong.

The UK government believes the new security legislation passed by Beijing breaches the Sino-British joint declaration, which aimed to smooth the transition when the territory was handed back to China in 1997.

In the meantime, The UK has also sought to strengthen ties with China after leaving the European Union (EU) this year.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in January allowed Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei to join a project to build the next-generation 5G mobile network, despite US calls to ban Huawei's door.

The UK, however, is still trying to build a coalition of suppliers in Europe and Asia to curb China's dominance in the telecommunications sector.

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Hong Kong national security law, which was voted unanimously by an elite body within China's legislature on Tuesday, was adopted in a rushed, secretive process.

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370 people were arrested as police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds protesting against Hong Kong security law.

Jasmine Le