Mon, 28 November 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Press releases

Boris Johnson says he is 'deeply concerned' over China's adoption of Hong Kong security law

Boris Johnson says he is 'deeply concerned' over China's adoption of Hong Kong security law

The Prime Minister said he was "deeply concerned" by the move (PA)

2 min read

Boris Johnson has said he is "deeply concerned" following reports that China had passed a controversial security law targeting Hong Kong.

The Prime Minister said the Government would be "looking closely" at whether the move would amount to a breach of the joint international treaty which guarantees a separate economic and governance system for Hong Kong.

The controversial anti-sedition laws grant authorities new powers to crack down on pro-democracy activists protesting against Beijing's interference in the city-state.

The plans, which were sent to China's senior leadership for approval last month, would ban "any acts or activities" which undermine China's national security, and could pave the way for Chinese security forces to operate in Hong Kong for the first time.

But asked about the move, Mr Johnson said: "I am deeply concerned at the law being passed. We will be looking at it carefully and scrutinise it if it is in conflict with the declaration with China."

And he suggested the Government could push ahead with plans to extend visa rights for British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders in Hong Kong in response to the move.

The measures, first proposed in May, would see BNO passport holders in the city-state offered a "path to citizenship" by doubling the six month visa period in which they could come to the UK to work and study.

Around 350,000 people already hold the passport with a further 2.6m potentially eligible for the scheme.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said China had taken a "grave step" by adopting the plans.

"We are deeply concerned by unconfirmed reports that Beijing has passed the national security law," he told MPs.

"This would be a grave step.

"Once we have seen the full legislation, we will make a further statement."

Meanwhile, a Number 10 spokesperson said Beijing had "ignored" its international obligations as they promised to set out "next steps" once the full detial of the legislation was revealed.

"Despite the urging of the international community, Beijing has chosen not to step back from imposing this legislation and has ignored its international obligations regarding Hong Kong," they said.

"We urgently need to see the full legislation, and we will use that to determine whether there has been a breach of the joint declaration. We will then be able to set out the next steps we are taking in response."

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by John Johnston - All The Major Announcements In Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement


Foreign affairs