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UK Sheltering 'wanted Criminals' After Hong Kong Asylum Ruling: China

After Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law said that he had been granted political asylum in Britain, China accused UK of sheltering “wanted criminals".


Image: AP

After Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law said that he had been granted political asylum in Britain, China accused the United Kingdom of sheltering “wanted criminals”. In a series of tweets, Law had said that he had been granted asylum in Britain, after fleeing the semi-autonomous territory following the introduction of sweeping Chinese security law. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had also announced that law’s asylum in the UK has been granted. Raab had also said that Britain has a history of providing protection to those who need it. 

However, on Thursday, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters that the UK is clearly a platform for Hong Kong independence agitators, and provides so-called shelter for “wanted criminals”. Lijian described Law as a “criminal suspect” and further called UK’s move “gross interference” in Hong Kong’s judiciary. He even added that the UK should “immediately correct its mistake” and “stop interfering” in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs. 

UK offers $59 million to help HK migrants 

Meanwhile, London and Beijing are at bitter odds over the fate of Hong Kong, with Britain accusing China of tearing up its promise to maintain key liberties in the former British colony. China had imposed sweeping legislation on Hong Kong last year following massive anti-government protests in 2019. The authorities have used it to virtually end political opposition and severely restrict free speech.

The British government, on the other hand, announced that it is setting up a $59 million fund to help migrants from Hong Kong settle in the country as they escape increasing political repression in the former colony. According to AP, the offers extends to holders of British National (Overseas) passports who have been offered special visas, opening a path to work, residency and eventual citizenship to up to 5 million of Hong Kong’s 7.4 million people. The programme will provide funding to help arrivals access housing, education and jobs. 

“The move delivers on the U.K.’s historic and moral commitment to the people of Hong Kong who chose to retain their ties to the UK by taking up BN(O) status in 1997," the Consulate-General said in a statement.

“It provides them with a pathway to live in the UK should they choose to do so," the consulate added.

(With inputs from AP)


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