British Foreign Office summons Chinese ambassador to Britain: urges China to abide by its international obligations

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted on Nov. 13 that the British Foreign Office had summoned China’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming that day. The British side also urged the Chinese side to abide by its own international obligations on the Hong Kong issue.

A spokesperson for the British Foreign Office said, “Today, the Chinese ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office. The Deputy Permanent Secretary pointed out that China’s implementation of new rules in Hong Kong to disqualify elected members of parliament violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration. He called on China to fulfill its international obligations.” The spokesman said, “Beijing’s recent action is a violation of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Joint Declaration.”

In response, the Chinese Embassy issued a statement saying, “Ambassador Liu Xiaoming met with Barton, the British Permanent Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Development, and firmly rejected the British side’s groundless accusations regarding the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China on the eligibility of members of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR, and clarified China’s solemn position on the British side’s erroneous words and actions.” Liu said, “Senior officials of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development have repeatedly and groundlessly accused the Chinese side of blatantly interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs in recent days over the decision of the NPC Standing Committee on the eligibility of members of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR, and China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to this.”

Earlier, Rab said on Wednesday that Beijing’s move is “harassment, suffocation” of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp, damage to China’s international image and Hong Kong’s long-term stability; the next day, Rab again accused Beijing of “an obvious violation of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration”. It is reported that the British Government is conducting a study of sanctions against relevant Chinese and Hong Kong officials.