Hong Kong: UK expresses 'deep concern' in joint statement condemning China's controversial security bill

The statement has also been signed by politicians from the US, Canada and Australia.

5/28/2020 4:35:00 PM

BREAKING: The UK, US, Canada and Australia have issued a joint statement saying they are 'deeply concerned' by China's approval of a new national security bill in Hong Kong. More on this story here:

The statement has also been signed by politicians from the US, Canada and Australia.

Beijing says the legislation is aimed at tackling secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference.Hong Kong's Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, claimed in a statement welcoming the vote:"The law will not affect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents."

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But campaigners in the city were despondent, with pro-democracy lawmaker Dennis Kwok telling reporters:"This is the death knell for Hong Kong, make no mistake of it, this is the end of 'one country, two systems' ... the Hong Kong that we loved, a free Hong Kong."

Thousands of people have already taken to the streets in anger over the bill, with demonstrators staying out late into the evening on Wednesday.They believe it will undermine civil liberties and might be used to suppress political activity.They were heard chanting for full democracy and for Hong Kong to seek independence from China, saying this is now"the only way out".

Image:An anti-government demonstrator argues with riot policeAnd it came against the backdrop of escalating threats from Washington, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Hong Kong no longer qualified for special treatment under US law, potentially dealing a devastating blow to its status as a major financial hub.

He told Congress that China's plan to impose the new legislation was"only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms"."No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground," he said.

China's new bill is expected to see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in the city, which was supposed to have a high degree of autonomy under the terms of its 1997 handover by former colonial power Britain.Chinese authorities and the Beijing-backed government in Hong Kong insisted there is no threat to the city's high degree of autonomy and the new security law would be tightly focused.

The US and China clashed over Hong Kong at the United Nations on Wednesday after Beijing opposed a request by Washington for the Security Council to meet for discussions about the legislation.The US mission to the UN said the issue was"a matter of urgent global concern that implicates international peace and security", while China said the legislation was an internal matter.

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Pro-democracy activists have who returned to the streets to protest against controversial new security laws in Hong Kong.Why this legislation was a huge surprise - and a massive accelerantBy Tom Cheshire, Asia CorrespondentAmid the pandemic, it's been much observed that history accelerates in crisis. Here in Beijing, years have been compressed into the last week, in terms of China, Hong Kong and the rest of the world.

On Friday, the National People's Congress proposed national security legislation to cover Hong Kong. It was a huge surprise - and a massive accelerant. Hong Kong's autonomy was supposed to last until 2047.Beijing and Hong Kong insist that Hong Kong's freedoms will be preserved. The US disagrees. Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, told Congress that"no reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given the facts on the ground".

It's probable that the US will go on to impose sanctions - something unthinkable last year, even amid the heights of the Hong Kong protests and the heavy-handed police response. And US-China relations will reach their lowest ebb since the Korean War, nearly 70 years ago.

Image:Clashes in Hong Kong ahead of the bill being rubber-stampedWhy has so much happened, so quickly, in this case? The pandemic initially looked to be a threat to the Chinese Communist Party.Instead, they contained it, at the same time as the West grimly tallied tens of thousands of deaths. Washington railed against Beijing - the same trajectory as pre-pandemic, but now with much more vigour and much higher stakes.

Beijing responded equally forcefully. It has always wanted to bring Hong Kong to heel but seemed to be happy to wait and, year by year, grip Hong Kong tighter.The pandemic accelerated time, so China seized this moment now, and that has accelerated time once more.

Issues like Taiwan - and China's ultimate aim to"reunify" or in fact annexe it - seemed a generation in the future. Now they are conceivably short term. Read more: Sky News »

Hong Kong people. Fight for your freedom Finally these countries have understood what China is doing in HongKong Bold sanctions are needed - talk is nothing They said they stand with HKer,but they did not stand with their own covid19 people🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ Smart New Zealand didn't take part in this shit as NZ doesn't want to support violent riots. I wonder whey the four Evil will issue a joint statement to express their concern to the unfairness towards Northern American Africans.

ayemojubar The UK, US, Canada and Australia are Afraid of china! They can't do anything. Is already too late. And stop that your 'deeply concerned ' Disgusting behaviour from China to totally ignore the details of HK handover which China said wld honour. Well China’s honour is worthless with all their bowing to each other in respect is meaningless!

No more one country two systems HongKong is no longer a free city. China must pay for it! Remove HK 'special status' MagnitskyAct Sanction to Gov officers and police If you are a 'free man' , please stand with HK Say NO to China Tiktok, Hauwei,Zoom Please care about the black people in America! DominicRaab BorisJohnson AndrewRosindell We need to treat China as a hostile country , a statement isn’t enough . Action must be taken for the loyal Hong Kong ppl. We must let them seek sanctuary in UK if they want to come .

Thanks for your warm heart concerns. The Chinese people are doing just fine. If I were a Hong Jong resident, I would have left before 1997. This was bound to happen eventually. jacindaardern DominicRaab SecPompeo MarisePayne 4 Eyes Only NZ is absent, once again Love, Be Kind, Stay United, Save Lives They are all political propaganda Very hypocritical

I know the world may get tired of these brutal scene now.. but pls still stand with hk! Hk people are still trying very hard to protect their right!!

Trump administration says Hong Kong no longer independent from China as tension with US grows'It's hard to see how Hong Kong can remain a financial hub if China takes over,' Donald Trump told his top spokeswoman on Tuesday

Hong Kong crisis: Trump warns China he will take action as protests loomUS president ‘displeased’ with efforts by Beijing to impose national security laws, as Chinese president says military must prepare for confrontations realDonaldTrump Every free-world government need to help on this one. Bullshite..............short but true Commie just want money

China approves national security law bill for Hong KongChina's parliament has approved the decision to go forward with a law tackling secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong. Chiba puts noose around Hong Kong’s neck. Sad... Why there is no referendum before the handover of HK to CCP ? BorisJohnson DominicRaab Just more proof that the Chinese Dictatorship can do just as it likes, with impunity.

China's parliament backs Hong Kong security billChina says the bill will rein in 'terrorism' but many feel it will end Hong Kong's unique status. Bye Bye Hong Kong Travesty. Can we spare the population an island somewhere rather than let them disappear under the Chinese thumb prematurely? Youtube banned the chinese characters for 'Communist Bandits' even tho Youtube is banned in China. I think with this new security law those two words are perfect. communistbandits

Chinese parliament approves controversial Hong Kong security lawMove paves the way for anti-sedition laws, which human rights advocates say will threaten the city’s freedoms, as US opposition builds One country two systems 🤔 Perhaps our Parliament could look like this Democracy with Chinese characteristics StandWithHongKong

Chinese parliament votes to approve controversial Hong Kong security lawChina's rubber-stamp parliament has voted overwhelmingly to approve a controversial new national security law that will be imposed upon Hong Kong, a move which critics say undermines the city's Good news. Do you like a hong kong situation in your country? Evil ambition Bet they’re regretting the UK handing it over now