China right this moment accused the UK of sheltering “needed criminals” after distinguished Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Legislation mentioned he had been granted political asylum there.
London and Beijing are at bitter odds over the destiny of Hong Kong, with Britain accusing China of tearing up its promise to keep up key liberties within the former colonial territory for 50 years after the handover.
Legislation mentioned on Wednesday he had been granted asylum in Britain, after fleeing the semi-autonomous territory following the introduction of sweeping Chinese language safety legal guidelines.
“The UK is clearly a platform for Hong Kong independence agitators, and supplies so-called shelter for needed criminals,” overseas ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian informed reporters.
Describing Legislation as a “legal suspect,” Zhao known as the transfer “gross interference” in Hong Kong’s judiciary.
“The UK ought to instantly right its mistake, and cease interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s inside affairs,” he added.
Legislation, a 27-year-old former Hong Kong lawmaker and pupil activist, fled to the UK in July 2020 within the weeks after the Nationwide Safety Legislation, opposed by pro-democracy protesters, was imposed.
Legislation wrote on Twitter that he had been granted asylum within the UK after a number of interviews over a interval of 4 months.
“The truth that I’m needed below the Nationwide Safety Legislation exhibits that I’m uncovered to extreme political persecution and am unlikely to return to Hong Kong with out threat,” he wrote.
The activist highlighted the plight of different asylum seekers within the UK from Hong Kong who won’t have the identical weight of proof behind their claims.
“I hope that my case may also help the Dwelling Workplace perceive extra concerning the difficult scenario in Hong Kong.
“To free extra protesters from Beijing’s authoritarian oppression, the Dwelling Workplace might think about extra complete proof,” he added.
Champion of democracy
Legislation’s destiny and the destiny of probably hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers who Britain has provided a route to flee China’s crackdown, has grow to be a degree of bitter diplomatic rivalry between Beijing and London, which ceded the previous colonial territory in 1997.
China mentioned earlier this 12 months it won’t recognise the British Nationwide (Abroad) passport for Hong Kongers due to a brand new visa scheme launched in January providing a pathway to full UK citizenship for many who need to depart the territory.
Beijing and London have in latest weeks additionally disagreed over Chinese language sanctions towards 4 UK entities and 9 people together with lawmakers which have spoken out in defence of China’s Uyghur Muslim minority.
Final 12 months, Britain protested at jail phrases handed to a few main activists from the pro-democracy celebration Demosisto, which Legislation cofounded.
The celebration disbanded on the identical day China’s new safety laws was imposed in Hong Kong.
In exile, Legislation has continued to champion the reason for pro-democracy teams in Hong Kong on social media.
Final month, he hit out at mass trials of activists in Hong Kong saying that they confirmed that “the Chinese language Communist celebration nakedly abuses its powers and makes use of the courts to display that energy”.