UK, Canada, Australia 'deeply concerned' at China's security proposals for Hong Kong

UK, Canada, Australia 'deeply concerned' at China's security proposals for Hong Kong

Activists march against new security laws, near China's Liaison Office, in Hong Kong
Activists march against new security laws, near China's Liaison Office, in Hong Kong, China May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

LONDON: Britain, Australia and Canada on Friday (May 22) said they were "deeply concerned" at China's plans for a new security law in Hong Kong.

The foreign ministers of the three countries joined growing global opposition to the move by Beijing to reduce Hong Kong's separate legal status.

They pointed out in a joint statement that China had agreed to maintain a "high degree of autonomy" in the former British colony, including individual rights and freedom of assembly.

"Making such a law on Hong Kong's behalf without the direct participation of its people, legislature or judiciary would clearly undermine the principle of 'one country, two systems', under which Hong Kong is guaranteed a high degree of autonomy," they said.

READ: China law requires Hong Kong to enact national security rules as soon as possible

READ: Calls for protest march in Hong Kong as China pushes new security laws

The "one country, two systems" established Hong Kong as part of China but governed as a Special Administrative Region under a constitution known as the Basic Law, which came in after British rule ended in 1997.

Friday's statement was issued by the UK's Dominic Raab, Australia's Marise Payne and Francois-Philippe Champagne of Canada.

Campaigners have vowed to return to the streets in protest against the legislation, which was introduced at China's parliament on Friday morning.

READ: US steps up threats to strip Hong Kong's trading privileges over China security law

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also voiced concern at his daily briefing.

"We have long called for a de-escalation of tensions and genuine dialogue with Hong Kong between Hong Kong citizens and Beijing," he told reporters.

"We continue to call for that and we will keep monitoring the situation closely."

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

Follow us on Telegram for the latest on Hong Kong: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: Reuters/nh

Bookmark