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The former British colony has maintained its autonomy from the authoritarian state since 1997 when it was handed back to Beijing. But China’s new security law is viewed as an attempt to end Hong Kong’s independence.
The new security law has been met with criticism from Prime Minister Boris Johnson who said that if the Chinese imposed new security laws on the semi-autonomous territory, the UK would have no choice but to offer up to three million residents there a route to UK citizenship.
But now, it’s reported North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Son Gwon, has met with the Chinese ambassador, Li Jinjun, to show support for the measures in Hong Kong.
North Korea’s state news agency, KNCA, quoted Ri Son Gwon saying: “The Hong Kong issue is China’s internal affairs and external interference violates China’s sovereignty, and North Korea will actively support the Chinese party and government to defend national sovereignty, safety and territorial integrity.”
On Thursday, North Korea lashed out at the United States claiming they were in no position to criticise China after Washington threatened to “unless the dogs” on Black Lives Matter protests.
The meeting between the nations comes after Mr Johnson condemned the move from China and wrote in the South China Morning Post: “Many people in Hong Kong fear their way of life – which China pledged to uphold – is under threat.
“If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away.
“Since the handover in 1997, the key has been the precious concept of ‘one country, two systems’, enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law and underpinned by the Joint Declaration signed by Britain and China.”
His comments were criticised by the Beijing state-controlled outlet The Global Times who claimed the UK would have more to lose than China if a trade deal is scrapped.
The nationalist tabloid wrote: “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government may sincerely believe they are battling for their values as they confront China over the national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, when in fact they are complicating a much-needed deal, threatening to inflict substantial damage on their own economy.
“One more thing British politicians may be mistaken about is which country needs the free trade agreement more.
“The coronavirus has hit the UK hard, and it is currently suffering its worst peacetime downturn in centuries.”
The Prime Minister’s intervention comes after China’s parliament approved a decision last week to create laws to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign influence in Hong Kong.
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It allowed mainland security and intelligence agencies to be stationed in the city for the first time.
The plan for the legislation followed months of often violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
However, this week, Chen Wen, Minister and First Staff Member of Chinese Embassy in London, warned BBC World at One that there would be a price to pay for such actions.
She said: “We believe Hong Kong people who were born in Hong Kong are Chinese nationals.
“There will be consequences, that’s for sure.”
Denying what she said was a threat, Ms Wen argued it would be “damaging to Hong Kong’ stability.
She said: “I’m not threatening anything.
“I’m just saying this is not the correct decision, and it will be damaging to Hong Kong’s stability.
“It will be damaging to the UK’s own image of abiding by its own commitments.
“It will be damaging to the entire relationship.”
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