United Kingdom

Dominic Raab threatens China for ‘failing to uphold its promise’ as tensions escalate

Mr Raab took to Twitter to criticise China’s constant crackdown on freedom of the press. The foreign secretary said: “The Hong Kong authorities’ continued malicious persecution of former Apple Daily staff is disturbing. The Chinese government is again failing to uphold its promise in the Joint Declaration to protect freedom of the press and freedom of speech.”

The Joint Declaration was supposed to guarantee Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.

It came into effect in 1997 following the handover of the territory by Britain to China.

Now, however, China has claimed that the document is “invalid and expired” for a long time.

Mr Raab has previously stated that the “forced enclosure” of the Hong Kong newspaper, Apple Daily, was a “chilling blow to freedom of expression”.

Last month, the pro-democracy paper announced that it will close after police arrested five editors and executives and froze £1.63m in assets linked to the paper.

Police cited more than 30 articles published by the paper as evidence of an alleged conspiracy to impose foreign sanctions on Hong Kong and China.

Mr Raab told the PA: “The forced closure of Apple Daily by the Hong Kong authorities is a chilling blow to freedom of expression in Hong Kong.

“It is crystal clear that the powers under the national security law are being used as a tool to curtail freedoms and punish dissent – rather than keep public order.”

READ MORE: ‘Seditious sheep’ China launches bizarre crackdown on children’s books

“The UK must stand up to these efforts to silence the people of Hong Kong.

“It is time for the UK Government to sanction Carrie Lam and other senior officials responsible for the crackdown, and withdraw support for British judges serving in Hong Kong’s compromised legal system.”

The news comes after the UK fired back at China after the country threatened to use nuclear weapons against Japan earlier this week.

China threatened to nuke Japan “off the face of the earth” if Tokyo intervenes to protect Taiwan.

The East Asian countries have been in conflict over the status of Taiwan.

The Taiwanese people have faced the brunt of the Chinese Communist Party, which is seeking to incorporate the breakaway state into mainland China.

China recently released a video that was broadcasted by a CCP controlled TV channel in which they referenced the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War 2.

The PLA military spokesperson threatened: “When we liberate Taiwan if Japan dares to intervene by force, even if it only deploys one soldier, one plane and one ship, we will not only return reciprocal fire but also start a full-scale war against Japan.

“We will use nuclear bombs continuously until Japan declares unconditional surrender for the second time.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has warned that the West has to do everything it can to avoid a Cold War in Asia.

Mr Wallace also claimed that China does not scare the UK.

He said: “We are committed to working with our partners here to defend democratic values, tackle shared threats and keep our nations safe.”


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