Boris Johnson has vowed to look “very carefully” at a controversial new national security law for Hong Kong which has been passed by China to see if it breaches a treaty between the UK and Beijing.
The British Prime Minister said the Government was “deeply concerned” that the legislation – which would allow authorities to crack down on subversive and secessionist activity in the former British colony – had been passed.
Mr Johnson, answering questions following a major speech, told reporters: “We are obviously deeply concerned about the decision to pass the national security law in Beijing as it affects Hong Kong.
“We will be looking at the law very carefully and we will want to scrutinise it properly to understand whether it is in conflict with the Joint Declaration between the UK and China. We will be setting out our response in due course.”
Asked whether it would impact on his decision to allow Huawei to be used in Britain’s 5G network, the PM said: “The position is very, very simple: I’m not going to get drawn into Sinophobia because I’m not a Sinophobe.
“But on the other hand I do want to see our critical national infrastructure properly protected from hostile state vendors, and so we need to strike that balance and that’s what we’ll do.”
His comments came after his Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged China to “step back from the brink” following the passing of the legislation.