The move comes amid a decline in UK-China relations following a number of moves by Britain including the decision to remove Huawei from its 5G netw
The move comes amid a decline in UK-China relations following a number of moves by Britain including the decision to remove Huawei from its 5G network by 2027 and steps to put Hong Kong residents on a route to UK citizenship.
Most recently, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK had suspended a treaty allowing criminals to be transported between it and Hong Kong following the imposition of Beijing’s new national security law on the region.
In a parliamentary statement yesterday, Mr Raab stressed the UK does “want to work with China,” adding there is “enormous scope for positive, constructive engagement”.
However, Mr Raab said he would be “clear” about where the two nations disagree, listing “grave concerns” about “gross human rights abuses” against Uighur Muslims by the Chinese government in China’s Xinjiang region as one such issue.
Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, has blasted the allegations as “slander” in a Beijing press briefing, according to reports.
Speaking ahead of Mr Raab’s announcement, Mr Wang said: “Recent erroneous remarks and measures concerning Hong Kong have seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations. China strongly condemns this and firmly opposes it.
READ: Who are the Uighur Muslims? Why is China persecuting them?
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has labelled the “dehumanising abuses” as “horrific”.
Mr Raab also mentioned the imposition by Beijing of a new national security law on Hong Kong as one of the other concerns the UK has with China.
He called it a “clear and serious violation of the UK-China Joint Declaration, and with it a violation of China’s freely assumed international obligations.”
As a result, Mr Raab declared the UK would suspend an extradition treaty between it and Hong Kong, and also extend an arms embargo to Hong Kong that is already in place on mainland China.