Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, said that the government of Boris Johnson “continues to make irresponsible remarks” about Hong Kong.
A new national security law outlaws secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities, as well as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs.
Liu denied that China breached its international obligations after the British government accused it of violating the joint Sino-British declaration, which was supposed to give Hong Kong almost complete autonomy until 2047.
At a press conference – five days after being summoned to the Foreign Office in London – Liu said, “China governs Hong Kong by basic law, not by joint declaration.”
He said he was holding the press conference to make sure the British public understands the national security law he imposed on Hong Kong last week, saying the media coverage was “full of false claims” .
The ambassador said the new law does not change Hong Kong’s “capitalist system”, its high degree of autonomy, or its legal systems – something that critics and protesters dispute.
Liu said the security law protects Hong Kong and “will bring an end to chaos and restore order” in the city after months of protests against what protesters see as China’s growing encroachment.
He then accused the United Kingdom of not having fulfilled its international obligations of sovereign equality and of not interfering in the relations of other countries.
“The British side is well aware that Hong Kong is no longer under colonial rule and that Hong Kong has returned to China and is now part of China,” he said.
“The United Kingdom has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or supervisory right over Hong Kong after the handover.
“However, the British government continues to make irresponsible comments on the affairs of Hong Kong, making unjustified accusations against China. “
The British government has offered a path to citizenship for nearly three million people in Hong Kong who were eligible for British National Overseas before returning to China in 1997.
Responding to the offer, Liu said, “This decision constitutes gross interference in China’s internal affairs and openly flouts basic standards of international relations.
“Hong Kong is part of China, Hong Kong’s affairs are Chinese internal affairs and there should be no outside interference.
“An important task is to prevent, suppress and punish collusion with a foreign country that endangers national security. No one should underestimate China’s firm determination to protect its security. “
Liu added that China will decide on a full response to the UK’s offer to the Hong Kong people once it has seen the details of the plan – adding that he hopes the UK “will reconsider its position ”
Sky News foreign editor Deborah Haynes asked the ambassador about the controversial Chinese telecom company Huawei and the British government’s concerns about using it to implement a 5G network.
Mr. Liu said, “If you don’t want Huawei, it’s yours. ”
But he warned that the consequences “could be many” if the UK decides to reject Huawei, saying that a decision would damage the UK’s image as a business-friendly environment and said it had no independent foreign policy.