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China vows 'consequences' for Britain over Hong Kong dispute

The Chinese national flag flies at the foreign affairs ministry in Beijing, China, on April 6. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
The Chinese national flag flies at the foreign affairs ministry in Beijing, China, on April 6. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

July 21 (UPI) -- A Chinese ambassador sharply criticized British leaders on Tuesday for interfering in Beijing's affairs by suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab announced the suspension Monday, citing a new Chinese security law for the former British colony.

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Beijing began enforcing the new law this month. The measure criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers. Violators can be imprisoned for life. Opponents argue that it targets pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

"[Britain] blatantly interfered in China's internal affairs and contravened international law and the basic norms governing international relations," Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming tweeted.

"China has never interfered in [Britain's] internal affairs. [Britain] should do the same to China. Otherwise, it must bear the consequences."

Raab criticized China's new law because it fails to provide legal or judicial safeguards for Hong Kong activists, who demonstrated en masse last year over various issues.

The Chinese Embassy in Britain said Beijing fully supports the law, and that it's beneficial for Hong Kong's "long-term security, prosperity and stability."

"[Britain] will bear the consequences if it insists on going down the wrong road," the embassy tweeted.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act last week, which promises sanctions for businesses and individuals that aid China in implementing the security law.

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