July 15, 2024

China has accused London of protecting fugitive Hong Kong activists

China has accused London of protecting fugitive Hong Kong activists

A diplomatic crisis

China has accused London of protecting fugitive Hong Kong activists

Today, 04.07.2023 | 05:51

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in London said on Monday evening that “British politicians have openly offered protection to the fugitives”. It said it was “a gross interference in Hong Kong’s rule of law and China’s internal affairs”. “China expresses strong displeasure and firmly rejects it.”

Hong Kong police previously offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of eight prominent foreign democracy activists. The British Foreign Secretary, James Wise, was very critical of this.

Severe crackdown on protestors

Eight activists left Hong Kong following massive pro-democracy protests in mid-2020 following Beijing’s so-called national security law for the special administrative region. Allows authorities to crack down on protesters.

The deportees have “committed extremely serious crimes that endanger national security,” said Steven Li, chief commissioner of China’s special administrative region’s Department of National Security. Accordingly, one million Hong Kong dollars (equivalent to approximately 117,000 euros) is to be paid to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of an activist.

“Don’t stop chasing them”.

Among the wanted exiles are former pro-democracy MPs Nathan Law Kun-chung, Ted Hui Chi-fung and Dennis Kwok Wing-hong, trade unionist Maung Siu-tat and other activists. Some of them are now living in England.

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They are accused of colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security – a crime punishable by life imprisonment in Hong Kong. Police officer Li said Hong Kong police were unable to arrest the eight people who were overseas. But that doesn’t stop them from following.

The British Foreign Secretary has taken a tough line on China

British Foreign Secretary James wisely stated that “Britain will not tolerate any attempt by China to intimidate and silence people in England and abroad.” London will “always protect the right to freedom of expression”.

Britain has criticized China for undermining rights in the former British crown colony of Hong Kong. In 2020, London suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in protest at China’s introduction of controversial security legislation.

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