August 9, 2020

Hong Kong: US and allies defend 'bastion of freedom'

(BBC) – The US, UK, Australia and Canada have issued fresh condemnation of Beijing’s new security law for Hong Kong, which they say has “flourished as a bastion of freedom”.

They say the international community has a “significant and long-standing stake” in its prosperity and stability.

China’s move to impose the new law during a global pandemic risked undermining trust in governments and international co-operation, they said.

China has rejected foreign criticism.

The law – approved by China’s parliament on Thursday – has already sparked a new wave of anti-mainland protest in Hong Kong.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said developments in Hong Kong meant it could no longer be considered to have “a high degree of autonomy” from mainland China.

This could lead to Hong Kong being treated the same as mainland China under US law, which would have major implications for its trade hub status.

The UK on Thursday said visa rights for 300,000 overseas UK citizens in Hong Kong would be extended into a “pathway to future citizenship” if China did not suspend its security law plans.