'Five Eyes' alliance chides China on Hong Kong

'Five Eyes' alliance chides China on Hong Kong

China has strongly rebuked the United Kingdom, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada after being accused of a concerted effort to silence critics in Hong Kong.

Given that the brand connotes secrecy and conjures the shadowy world of intelligence, this was a wise call, especially as China continues to argue that foreign powers are egging on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

Foreign ministers from Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States urged China "to re-consider their actions against Hong Kong's elected legislature and immediately reinstate the Legislative Council members".

"China's action is a clear breach of its global obligations under the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration", the nations said in a joint statement, reiterating individual remarks.

Hong Kong must be ruled by those who love the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong instead of those who seek to oppose the country and disrupt the city, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday, expressing strong opposition to a joint statement issued by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance on Hong Kong affairs.

Waikato University Law Professor Alexander Gillespie said New Zealand faced a challenge in diplomatic positioning amid US-China tensions.

The four disqualified lawmakers were earlier barred from running for reelection due to their calls for foreign governments to impose sanctions on China and Hong Kong. It breaches both China's commitment that Hong Kong will enjoy a "high degree of autonomy", and the right to freedom of speech, the statement said.

China's ministry of foreign affairs in Hong Kong said any attempt by foreign states to threaten or pressure Beijing to make concessions is "doomed to fail".

Zhao further noted that most countries expect civil servants to uphold existing law and pledge loyalty to the nation: "Civil servants must uphold their country's constitutional laws and honor the pledge of allegiance to the motherland, which is the basic political ethics in all countries, right?" Under "One Country, Two Systems", laws passed by the National People's Congress are not applicable in Hong Kong, a fact that has not stopped pro-China Hong Kong authorities from imposing it.

Zhao also doubled down on China's June decision to impose the national security law in Hong Kong.

The statement called on Beijing and Hong Kong to restore the legislators' memberships. Can't this explain the problem?'

Hong Kong, a city of 7.5 million, promised self-rule in local affairs for 50 years after returning to China in 1997.

These countries criticized the new rule of China's opponents not being elected as MPs in Hong Kong.

The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region is the unicameral legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

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