There will be resolute response from China against the United Kingdom if there is any attempt by London to impose any sanctions against Chinese officials related to the imposition of the controversial new national security law in Hong Kong. This was said by the Chinese ambassador in London on Sunday.
A new policy and regiment of sanctions to target individuals that the United Kingdom says are involved in human rights abuses or organised crime was introduced by Britain earlier this month.
These proposed sanctions should be used to target Chinese officials, some lawmakers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party have said.
“If UK government goes that far to impose sanctions on any individual in China, China will certainly make a resolute response to it,” Liu Xiaoming said in a television interview to the BBC.
“You’ve seen what happens in the United States – they sanction Chinese officials, we sanction their senators, their officials. I do not want to see this tit-for-tat happen in… China-UK relations.”
He would not be drawn on future additions to Britain’s sanctions list, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in an interview to BBC in response to the comments by the Chinese ambassador. He however denied assumptions that the UK would be too weak to challenge China through this channel.
He would update Britain’s parliament to outline further measures on Hong Kong and China on Monday, Raab said.
Agreements made with between the United Kingdom and China before the handover of Hong Kong to Beijing had been breached by the new controversial national security law imposed on the semi autonomous city, Britain says. The UK has also alleged that the new law is to be used by China to crush the freedoms that have helped make Hong Kong to become one of the biggest financial hubs of the world.
The new national security law is critical for the administration to plug holes in national security defences exposed by recent protests, Hong Kong and Beijing officials have said previously. China has repeatedly told Western powers to stop meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.
(Adapted from Reuetrs.com)