Priti Patel warns ‘furious’ China to ‘reflect on actions’ as nations watch with ‘horror’

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Up to three million residents in Hong Kong could be eligible to live, work or study in the UK following the implementation of a new law from China. The controversial legislation has sparked fury among the international community, and the UK in particular, as it appears to violate the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Home Secretary Priti Patel stuck by the Government’s decision to green light the policy to offer UK citizenship, when Times Radio’s John Pienaar pointed out that it would make Beijing “furious”.

Ms Patel told him: “We’ve been clear and we’ve said this quite publicly over a period of time.

“To be quite frank, I think the real issue will be very much with Beijing.

“They themselves will have to reflect on their own actions and conduct.

“It won’t just be the United Kingdom responding.”

She continued: “As I’ve said, other nations are watching what is going on with a degree of horror, I think it’s fair to say.

“Other countries will feel equally the same and very strongly too.”

The Times Radio host also grilled the Home Secretary over how this new policy “squared” with her long-term ambition of bringing down the levels of immigration in the UK.

Ms Patel insisted it was all about the controls present around borders and the Government’s long-term immigration policy.

She said: “This isn’t about targets at all.

“First and foremost, we are going to end free movement and the bill we just passed through Parliament does that.

“We’re making fundamental changes, and we’re speaking very clearly about the quality of the people we allow into our country.”

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The ultimate interpretation of China’s national security law is decided by the political party in Beijing.

Beijing and the Hong Kong Government have said that Hong Kong’s traditional freedoms (of speech, of assembly, of protest) will be protected.

However, today already saw police arresting protesters under the broad applications of the law.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has accused China of a “clear and serious breach” of the joint declaration signed with the UK.

He pledged the UK Government would “honour” its commitment to the citizens of the former British colony.

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