United Kingdom talks to 'Five Eyes' allies about potential Hong Kong exodus

04 Juin, 2020, 13:54 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • PM Boris Johnson article on Hong Kong: 3 June 2020

The move was quickly condemned by the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada, as well as global human rights groups and some business groups.

A man wearing a face mask walks in front of Tiananmen Thursday during the 31st anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

At the time, an extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be tried in mainland China's politicized courts was making its way through the legislature, and many saw the vigil as a peaceful way to push back against Beijing's control more broadly. It comes after a series of protests in 2019 which called for the city's historic independence to be respected, and for a referendum on full independence.

"The existence of the candlelight vigil has always been a symbol to show that "one country, two systems" still works", said Lee Cheuk-yan, who chairs the group that organizes the commemoration, referring to the governance model that previously afforded Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy.

Yet last month, the National People's Congress in Beijing made a decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong that would curtail its freedoms and dramatically erode its autonomy.

Zhao said London must "immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and China's internal affairs, or this will definitely backfire".

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Saturday tweeted, "I can't breathe", in response to her USA counterpart's call that "freedom loving people around the world must stand with the rule of law and hold to account the Chinese Community Party, which has flagrantly broken its promises to the people of Hong Kong".

"It is imperative that the worldwide community move rapidly to ensure there is a mechanism for observing and transparent reporting on the impact of the new law on what are now legal freedoms in Hong Kong".

The question is a hard one for the UN.

During a news conference Monday, Trump said he would use the military on protesters, whom he had previously characterized as "thugs", citing incidents of looting in USA cities.

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In addition, Liberal MP Michael Levitt, who chairs the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, joined with his counterparts in other Commonwealth nations in writing additional letters to their respective prime ministers, asking them to exert influence with the United Nations Human Rights Council to set up this mandate. The Communist Party, having lost patience, ruthlessly suppressed the rallies, ordering the military to open fire on the crowds and leaving hundreds, perhaps thousands, dead.

In the wake of the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square, then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke announced Chinese students would be allowed to stay in Australia.

But this year - as Beijing proposed a new security law for the city - the vigil was banned for virus reasons.

After Mr Johnson's remarks were published, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam accused foreign critics of displaying "blatant double standards" over Beijing's decision.

The proposal sparked renewed protests in Hong Kong.

The Government has thus far avoided adding its voice to joint statements issued by the Governments of our allies.

In response, Beijing said it would expel American journalists working for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times whose credentials expire by the end of 2020.

"That it is down to the Australian government and ... also the Australian people to consider that".

Mr. Tugendhat wrote to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying "What we are now witnessing in Hong Kong is an attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to dismantle laws that were put in place to protect the rights of the public, press and others across the region ... we can not allow this to happen".

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