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Hong Kong protests: Jeremy Hunt warns China against "oppression"



  Police warn of "grave consequences" in treating protesters in Hong Kong during a rally by demonstrators surrounding a controversial proposal on extradition law in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019

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A group of activists occupied the parliament in Hong Kong on Monday over a controversial extradition law.

Jeremy Hunt denounced any violence to the BBC, "but warned the Chinese government not to respond" by repression. "

It comes after China has warned the UK not to" meddle in its internal affairs. "

Mr. Hunt said the UK would not just "swallow and carry on" "if China acts against protesters.

He affirmed that China must honor Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy over Beijing.

"At the heart of people's concern was what Hong Kong had as an independent judicial system," said Hunt Radio 4s Today program.

"The UK sees this situation very, very seriously," he added.

  • Background information on the Hong Kong protests.
  • Has the violence in Hong Kong influenced public opinion?

China's ambassador was called to the Foreign Office on Wednesday after "unacceptable and imprecise" statements.

Liu Xiaoming said relations between China and Britain had been "damaged" by comments from Mr. Hunt and others supporting the demonstrators' actions

He said those illegally occupying the Legislative Council building and the British flag in the colonial era should be "condemned as a lawbreaker".

He added that it was "hypocritical" for British politicians to criticize the absence of democracy and civil rights in Hong Kong when there was no election or protest under British rule.

"Very Serious"

In response to the allegations that he spoke out in favor of the demonstrators, Hunt said, "I did not support the violence, which I said is the way to handle this violence, is not through oppression. "

" Understanding the root causes of the protesters' concerns could undermine the freedoms they have had throughout their lives through this new extradition law, "he added.

Critics have The extradition law could send political dissidents from Hong Kong to the mainland.

A think tank analyst described the diplomatic dispute as "a very serious flare-up of tensions between Beijing and London".

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AFP / Getty Images

Caption

Masked demonstrators stormed the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong on Monday

Victor Gao, Vice President of the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing, described the occupation of parliament on Monday as "anarchism," adding, "This is to be protested and condemned by every leader with every conscience." [1

9659005] Mr. Gao called on the UK to condemn the violence. He said the point was, "The UK has no say in [how] Hong Kong should be run and administered."

An agreement between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved the way for sovereignty over the territory to return to Beijing.

The Joint Declaration signed by Margaret Thatcher and then Chinese Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang set out how to protect the rights of Hong Kong citizens in the Basic Law of the area under Chinese rule.

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AFP / Getty Images

Caption

Hong Kong was a British colony for more than 150 years and returned to China in 1997

Since 1997, Hong Kong has been run by China under an agreement that guarantees it a degree of economic autonomy and personal freedoms that are not permitted on the mainland.

Mr. Hunt said, "It is very important that one country be appreciated, the approach of two systems."

The Foreign Minister would not explain in more detail the consequences China could face if it did not but said Britain has "always defended the values ​​we believe in".


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