London: The UK warned Beijing on Tuesday not to backtrack on Hong Kong’s “authoritarian” national security laws. The UK stated that this could destroy a pearl in the Asian economy and damage China’s reputation.
The Chinese Congress last week passed a decision to enact laws for Hong Kong to end incitement to rebellion, division of the country, terrorism and foreign interference. Security and intelligence personnel on the mainland may be stationed in the city for the first time.
“There is time for China to reconsider, there is a moment for China to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and respect China’s own international obligations,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told parliament.
“The sad reality is that if China continues down this track, it will be strangling what has long been the jewel in the economic crown,” Raab said, when asked about the future of the Hong Kong dollar peg.
The Z / Yen Global Financial Center Index shows that Hong Kong from New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore has fallen from third to sixth in the latest global financial centers ranking. It is the most important hub in Asia in 2019.
Rab said the security law violates the “one country, two systems” principle enshrined in the 1984 “Sino-British Joint Declaration” and violates Article 23 of China’s own basic law.
Raab warned him not to expect China to change course. He said, “We think this is unlikely.”
If it goes ahead, Raab said the United Kingdom will form an alliance of countries to resist China, whose $14 trillion economy dwarfs every Western economy apart from the United States which has a $21.4 trillion economy.
Raab said the United Kingdom could not coerce China but would seek to persuade it to change course.
If China does not change course, British National Overseas passport-holders in Hong Kong will be offered a path to British citizenship.
When asked if London would go any further, Rab said the offer was already generous: about 300,000 BNO passport holders and another 3 million qualified.