China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom has been summoned to the Foreign Office accused of creating unacceptable criticisms of the UK after an unprecedented press convention in which he claimed that the British foreign secretary was backing law-breakers in Hong Kong.
Relations among the UK and China cooled sharply after Jeremy Hunt is known as on Beijing not to apply the protests in Hong Kong as a “pretext for repression”.
On Wednesday, Liu Xiaoming said Hunt’s remarks represented gross and unacceptable interference, a claim that becomes brushed off by way of the Foreign Office as unacceptable and misguided.
In a bid to underline British displeasure at the ambassador’s comments, the everlasting below-secretary on the Foreign Office, Sir Simon McDonald, summoned the ambassador for a dressing down.
The sudden disintegrate in Sino-British members of the family – relative to the golden technology hailed by using David Cameron in 2013 – represents a private test for Hunt as he makes his bid for the premiership, but it is also probable to have effects for Hong Kong’s future relations with Chinese authorities.
The beyond month has seen the worst political unrest in Hong Kong for decades, amid protests in opposition to a proposed law making an allowance for the extradition of individuals to mainland China, wherein courts are controlled via the Communist Party.
Earlier this week, protesters stormed the legislative council building and raised the vintage British colonial flag on the 22nd anniversary of the territory’s return to Chinese rule on 1 July.
Liu told a press convention on the embassy: “I think it’s far absolutely wrong for Jeremy Hunt to talk about freedom – this isn’t a rely upon approximate freedom, it’s a be counted approximately breaking legal guidelines in Hong Kong.
“It’s very disappointing while the senior officers of his caliber display guide of these lawbreaking human beings. We all do not forget what Hong Kong become 22 years ago below British rule: there was no freedom, democracy, anything.
“We all know that each one governor was appointed through the British authorities, humans had no right to opt for officers, no proper to demonstrate, sincerely, and they did now not even have a right to have impartial judicial energy.”
Liu warned that Britain’s dating with China might be broken via what he defined because of the “interference” of the British authorities.
“If the British government goes further, it will motive similarly damages, so this is why I’m calling the British authorities to mirror the consequences of its phrases and deeds with regards to Hong Kong. I do desire the British government will recognize the results and chorus from further interference from similarly damaging the connection.”
Liu additionally complained that the British authorities had known as on the Chinese authorities not to apply the violence as an excuse for oppression when it became a count for the independent judiciary in Hong Kong to punish the offenders, together with people who had attacked the police with poisonous powder.
Hunt has followed an increasingly outspoken tone of assist for the demonstrators, who’re annoying the Hong Kong legislature drop, as opposed to merely suspend, the proposed extradition regulation.
While condemning all violence, Hunt refused to again far from the demonstrators’ cause after a minority of activists on Monday cut up from the principal body of the protests to hurricane the legislative council.
China has promised heavy retribution and said that the wrongdoers might face the total force of the law. Twelve human beings had been arrested on Wednesday through Hong Kong police and charged with a ramification of offenses in the area of the council constructing.
Responding to the ambassador’s criticisms, Hunt confirmed no signs of qualms over his stance, tweeting: “Message to Chinese govt: precise family members between nations are based totally on mutual respect and honoring the legally binding agreements among them. That is an excellent way to hold extremely good dating among the United Kingdom and China.”
His defense of legally binding agreements is a reference to the joint declaration signed by the United Kingdom and China to preserve Hong Kong’s way of existence for at least 50 years after the handover. The joint declaration, signed with the aid of Margaret Thatcher and the then Chinese most appropriate Zhao Ziyang, set out how the rights of Hong Kong citizens ought to be covered in the territory’s basic regulation below Chinese rule.