China is currently battling against several countries’ offers to Hong Kongers seeking refuge from its new security laws. Several countries have ple
China is currently battling against several countries’ offers to Hong Kongers seeking refuge from its new security laws. Several countries have pledged to help curb the potential human rights’ abuses as a result of Beijing’s looming shadow. Of those included are the UK and Australia.
More recently, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned Australia to stop interfering in China’s affairs.
He told a daily briefing: “We reserve the right to take actions and all consequences will be borne by the Australian side.”
When asked which international law Australia is in breach of, he said: “Non-interference is a basic norm in international relations. Need I say more?”
The Communist nation also deplored and opposed what it called “groundless accusations and measures” by the Australian Government on Hong Kong.
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Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Australia said in a statement that “we urge the Australian side to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs under any pretext or in any way.
“Otherwise it will lead to nothing but lifting a rock only to hit its own feet.”
Australia had said it was suspending the extradition treaty it has in place with Hong Kong, while also announcing measures to attract residents and businesses from there.
Earlier this month, the UK became the focus of China’s ire after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to offer up to three million Hong Kong residents British citizenship.
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Beijing’s UK ambassador shortly after warned the UK not to interfere with Hong Kong, saying its offer of citizenship amounted to “gross interference”.
It isn’t the first time Xi Jinping – China’s president – has fuelled aggression at Western nations over visa complications.
Earlier this year, Donald Trump’s US became the target of potential retaliation after the country tightened its visa restrictions on Chinese journalists.
The move came after Beijing had expelled more than a dozen American reporters.
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New visa rules meant Chinese journalists visiting the US could stay for a maximum of 90 days, with the possibility to request an extension.
Visas for Chinese journalists previously lasted as long as the duration of their employment.
Beijing related furiously to the news, issuing a damning threat to the Trump administration.
During a press briefing in May, Mr Zhao said: “We express our strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this wrong action by the US side, which is an escalation of the political crackdown on Chinese media.
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“We ask the U.S. to correct its mistake immediately, otherwise China will have no other option but to take countermeasures.”
Already had China begun removing US journalists from the mainland.
In February, China kicked out three journalists from The Wall Street Journal after the newspaper ran an opinion piece on the coronavirus crisis with a headline that Beijing called racist.
Weeks later, Washington curbed the number of Chinese nationals from state-run news outlets in the United States.
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Beijing retaliated in March by expelling more than a dozen American journalists from The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
The rise in diplomatic tensions came amid the countries’ battle of rhetoric over the coronavirus outbreak.
Both sides have utilised the pandemic as a point of blame.
While the US insists China’s malpractice caused the outbreak, Beijing maintains the virus was despoiled by American troops during the October Wuhan military games.