China warns Britain interfering in Hong Kong will 'backfire'

China warns Britain interfering in Hong Kong will 'backfire'

A worker adjusts flags in Beijing
A worker adjusts British and China national flags on display in Beijing, Sep 21, 2015. (File photo: REUTERS/Andy Wong)

BEIJING: China warned Britain that its interferences in Hong Kong's affairs will "definitely backfire" after London criticised plans for a national security law in the former colony.

China's foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday (Jun 3) that Britain had no jurisdiction or supervision over the city, and that any threat to the city's stability and prosperity comes from foreign forces.

"We advise the UK to step back from the brink, abandon their Cold War mentality and colonial mindset, and recognise and respect the fact that Hong Kong has returned" to China, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular briefing.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Tuesday that China is destroying the "jewel" of Hong Kong with its crackdown.

He called China to "step back from the brink" and respect Hong Kong's autonomy and Beijing's international obligations.

Raab also said the national security law on Hong Kong was a breach of Beijing's international commitments to the "one country, two systems" principle agreement on the former colony.

Britain has spoken to its "Five Eyes" allies about potentially opening their doors to Hong Kongers if Beijing's plans to impose the national security law sparks an exodus, Raab said. The alliance includes the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

China said it has lodged stern representations with UK over its foreign secretary's remarks.

Following Raab's speech, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday he will offer millions of Hong Kongers visas and a possible route to UK citizenship if China persists with its national security law.

Source: Agencies/jt