China refused to rule out blocking Hong Kong citizens from leaving to take up Boris Johnson’s offer of a new home in the UK, criticising the British government for “gross interference” in Beijing’s affairs.
“We have to wait and see,” Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador in London, told reporters on a video conference call. “We have to decide our counter-measures in accordance with the actual actions taken by the British side.”
The UK’s promise of a new route to citizenship for almost 3 million people in Hong Kong has further soured relations with China, which last week enforced a sweeping security law on the former British colony. Johnson called the legislation a “clear and serious breach” of the 1984 handover treaty between London and Beijing.
The British government
has since stood by that offer despite the Chinese government’s threat it would have “consequences.”
But UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has also acknowledged that the British government would be powerless to stop China from
preventing Hong Kongers
from leaving the territory, putting the focus on Beijing’s