A spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Tuesday announced a strong counter-attack in response to Britain’s announcement that it was suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
On Monday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told parliament that the extradition treaty will be suspended immediately and that the arms embargo will be extended to Hong Kong.
“We will not consider re-activating those arrangements, unless and until, there are clear and robust safeguards, which are able to prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation,” Raab said in a parliamentary press conference as reported by Reuters.
As expected, the news was not well received by the Chinese regime, which quickly responded through the new foreign affairs spokesman, Wang Wenbin: “China will make a forceful counter-attack to the UK’s wrong actions,” at a daily press conference on Tuesday.
Wang added that Britain’s actions violated international laws and standards. “And now China urges the UK to give up its fantasies of continuing colonial influence in Hong Kong and immediately correct its mistakes.
The bad news for the CCP does not end there. Britain also followed Australia, Canada, and the United States in extending an existing arms embargo against China to Hong Kong. No British company would be allowed to export any potentially lethal weapons, components, or ammunition to Hong Kong. The ban also covers any equipment which, although not prohibited, may be used for internal repressions, such as handcuffs, interception equipment, and smoke grenades.
These latter measures by the British against the CCP are in addition to measures already implemented. Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the Huawei Technologies team in China to remove its 5G network from Britain entirely by the end of 2027.
Also, last week, Britain offered residency rights to three million Hong Kongers in response to China’s new security law, which reduces the city’s autonomy and could see protesters and critics of the CCP tried in court in western China.
Liu Xiaoming, the CCP’s ambassador to Britain, speaking to a BBC journalist, said the CCP would give a “resolute response” to any British moves to punish Chinese officials or citizens.
“If the UK goes that far to impose sanctions on any individuals in China, China will certainly make a resolute response to it,” he said. “You have seen what happened between China (and) the United States … I do not want to see this tit-for-tat between China–United States happen in China–UK relations.”