BFF-48 Hong Kong security plan alarms UK, Australia, Canada

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CHINA-HONGKONG-POLITICS

Hong Kong security plan alarms UK, Australia, Canada

LONDON, May 22, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Britain, Australia and Canada on
Friday said they were “deeply concerned” at Chinese plans for a new
security law in Hong Kong, after a wave of pro-democracy protests.

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.

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.

Pro-democracy campaigners have vowed to return to the streets in
protest against the legislation, which was introduced at China’s
rubber-stamp parliament on Friday morning.

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.”

BSS/AFP/MRU/2252hrs