Hong Kong Police Arrest at Airport After Officer Stabbed in Security Law Protests
China warned Britain on Thursday it could retaliate with “corresponding measures” for London’s decision to extend a broader path to citizenship for the residents of Hong Kong.
Britain’s offer came in response to a sweeping new security law that China unveiled for the former British territory this week.
Hong Kong was under UK jurisdiction until it was handed over to China in 1997 with a guarantee that Beijing would preserve the city’s judicial and legislative autonomy for 50 years.
The Chinese embassy in London stressed that “all Chinese compatriots residing in Hong Kong are Chinese nationals”.
police arrested a 24-year-old man at the city’s airport early on Thursday on suspicion of stabbing an officer during protests against a new national security law imposed by Beijing on the financial hub.
The arrest followed the latest protests on Wednesday in which police fired water cannon and tear gas and arrested more than 300 people as demonstrators defied the sweeping security legislation introduced by China to snuff out dissent.
If the British side makes unilateral changes to the relevant practice, it will breach its own position and pledges as well as international law and basic norms governing international relations,” it said in a statement.
“We firmly oppose this and reserve the right to take corresponding measures,” it said without elaborating.
Beijing has never publicly raised the possibility of offering Britons either Chinese citizenship or broader residence rights.
The Chinese statement concluded by urging London to reassess its decision and “refrain from interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any way”.
“If the British side makes unilateral changes to the relevant practice, it will breach its own position and pledges, as well as international law and basic norms,” said the Chinese Embassy in the UK.
Meanwhile, a 24-year-old man from Hong Kong – suspected of stabbing a police officer during Wednesday’s protests – has been arrested on a plane while trying to flee to London.
The suspect, known only as Mr Wong, was detained on the plane moments before it set off.
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China said the security law was necessary to stop the type of protests seen in Hong Kong during much of 2019.
And despite widespread international condemnation from leading powers, more than 50 countries, led by Cuba, supported China at the UN this week.