Beijing uses National Security Act to “significantly reduce” Hong Kong’s freedom: UK report

The British government said in its latest six-month report on the situation of the former British colony that the Chinese administration is using national security law to “significantly reduce” freedom of expression.

In the preface report“China broke its legal obligations by undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Joint Declaration,” said Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.

Epoch Times Photo
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab made a gesture during an interview with Reuters at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, England, on June 11, 2021. (Toby Melville / Reuters)

In March, the British government declared that the Chinese administration was “in a state of continuous non-compliance” in the China-UK joint declaration signed by then-Chinese Prime Minister Zhao Shiyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Hong Kong for at least 50 years.

Of particular concern is the strict National Security Act imposed on Hong Kong by the Chinese administration in June 2020, criminalizing individuals for destruction, withdrawal, and collusion with foreign troops against the Chinese Communist Party, and life imprisonment. Is maximized. Imprisonment.

Mr. Rab said in the preface: “The National Security Act, as Beijing said, is not used for its original purpose of targeting” a small number of criminals who seriously endanger national security. “

“Rather, it has been used to significantly reduce the space for expressing alternative political views, to prevent freedom of expression and legitimate political debate.

“We are now looking at the impact of the law with loosely defined provisions and are backed by the threat of moving the case to mainland China for potentially long imprisonment and prosecution and sentence.”

Mr Raab said the situation was “deeply concerned”, but Britain “stands up for its values ​​and the people of Hong Kong.”

In January, the UK launched a new visa scheme for British national (overseas) status holders. This allows you to live, study, work in the UK for 5 years and finally apply for citizenship.

According to the Oxford University Immigration Observatory, there were 34,000 applications from Hong Kong residents to live in the UK during the first three months of this year.

At a regular press conference in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused Britain of reporting that it was “full of ideological prejudices.”

He said the National Security Act helped Hong Kong “regain stability and get back on track.”

Mr. Wang urged Britain to “let go of the old colonial dreams” and “stop interfering with China’s internal affairs, including the Hong Kong issue.”

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