“Very concerned” British government evaluates response to Hong Kong's new security law

“We are very concerned about the decision to adopt the national security law in Beijing because it affects Hong Kong,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters today after a speech in Dudley, in central England, about a security plan. economic recovery.

Johnson said that London would “carefully scrutinize” the content of the law “to see if it conflicts with the joint statement between the UK and China”.

The United Kingdom transferred Hong Kong to the administration of China in 1997 on the condition that the former colony maintain certain freedoms, in addition to judicial and legislative autonomy for 50 years.

The text promulgated on Tuesday allows to punish separatist, “terrorist” activities, subversion or even foreign interference in Hong Kong, which was the scene of violent pro-democracy protests in 2019 and this year.

Also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dominic Raab, regretted today in a statement that Beijing did not back down on the application of the law initially approved on May 28 by the National People's Congress, the main Chinese legislative body.

“Despite requests from the international community, Beijing has chosen not to back down on enforcement. China ignored its international obligations to Hong Kong. This is a serious step, which is deeply worrying, ”he said.

The British government, Raab said, is awaiting publication of the full content of the legislation to assess whether the Joint Declaration has been violated and “what other measures the UK will take”.

The United States, European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand have also previously expressed concern about the new security law.

Raab had already promised to strengthen the residence rights of the approximately 300,000 Hong Kong residents with a British passport, extending the period in which they can stay in the United Kingdom from six to 12 months and, consequently, acquire British nationality.

BM // ANP

Lusa / end

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