Seven former British foreign ministers have sent a letter of fire to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. They insist that he seek global support for an appropriate response before the crisis between Hong Kong and China escalates further.
The Chinese parliament passed a controversial security law last week that further strengthens its influence on the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong. The law gives China the right to intervene more quickly in "state-undermining activities, terrorism, the pursuit of independence and foreign interference".
In practice, this means that China will further strengthen its grip on the semi-autonomous region. The vote took place amid major protests in which hundreds of protesters were arrested and the police deployed tear gas, among other things. In recent years, there has been plenty of demonstration against the growing influence of China.
The United Kingdom transferred supervision of Hong Kong in 1997, but under certain conditions. The former British colony would retain its own autonomy for several decades, and its inhabitants would not be subject to Chinese civil rights laws. However, the fear is that these agreements will be violated by the new security law that China has now passed.
See also: What is the controversial China law that Hong Kong people have been angry about for weeks?
'United Kingdom must initiate sharp response'
The seven former ministers write to Johnson, according to the BBC, that the UK should take the lead in forming an alliance to formulate a sharp, decisive international response to the new Chinese law. All former ministers insist that China will violate old 1997 commitments when the new law comes into effect.
The seven make a comparison with the way in which the international community intervened in 1994 to put an end to the protracted civil war in the former Yugoslavia. Then an international 'contact group' was also set up to think together about a solution and to put international pressure on the warring parties.
The letter to Boris Johnson on Hong Kong I have signed with six other Fromer Foreign Secretaries.Avatar
Downing Street: We guarantee rights for Hong Kong residents
Downing Street says in a response that the UK has already given a severe response by saying to China that the law is unacceptable and violates the 1997 agreements. The current British Secretary of State, Dominic Raab, stresses that all Hong Kong residents who have received a so-called BNO passport before 1997 will be guaranteed.
The passes were given to all citizens of the region by China before the takeover and guarantee additional protection under the UK Constitution.
See also: Five questions about the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong