China showdown: Dominic Raab pledges to hold Xi Jinping to account over Hong Kong

In a letter to Tory MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the Foreign Secretary condemned China’s handling of Hong Kong’s council elections. The Communist Party moved to suspend 12 pro-democracy officials from standing in the elections. Mr Raab also expressed his concern over the postponement of the elections until September 2021.

Due to this, he stated the Government is now considering sanctions against the state under the Global Human Rights (GHR) regime.

The Foreign Secretary also declared China must uphold the agreements made in the Joint Declaration in 1984.

In his letter, Mr Raab said: “I condemn the decision to disqualify opposition candidates from standing in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council elections.

“It is clear they have been disqualified because of their political views, undermining the integrity of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Joint-Declaration commitments to the people of Hong Kong.

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“We are carefully considering further designations under the Global Human Rights regime.

“We will continue to bring together our international partners to stand up for the people of Hong Kong, to call out the violation of their freedoms, and to hold China to their international obligations.”

The Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed in 1984, to protect certain rights such as the freedom of expression.

However, due to the Hong Kong Security law, there are concerns these rights are being infringed.

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In light of the regime, the UK also established the Magnitsky Act this year, to stop those involved in serious human rights abuses and violations from entering the country, channelling money through UK banks, or profiting from our economy.

Under this, 49 people will be classed within the new act due to their human rights abuses.

Although relations with China have simmered lately, the UK renounced the extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

The UK also offered citizenship to British National Overseas (BNO) and their families abroad.

Currently, BNO holders have the right to visit the UK visa-free for six months.

Under this new immigration route, however, BNO’s would be able to have an extended stay of up to five years in order to then become a full British national.

The UK has joined a host of countries such as Australia and the US in condemning the new security law in Hong Kong.

This comes amid the controversy over the origins of coronavirus and the supposed threat from Huawei kit in 5G networks.

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