Aylesbury MP Rob Butler has called for consequences against China after it imposed a new national security law in Hong Kong. The law, which came into effect today, criminalises any act of secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign or external forces and has raised serious concerns for Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Rob said:
“What has happened to the people of Hong Kong is chilling. In one sinister moment their rights and freedoms have been swept away. These are rights and freedoms that perhaps here we take for granted too often, but which we must defend to the hilt.
“So will my Right Honourable Friend reassure the people of Hong Kong that it is not only the British Parliament that stands alongside them, but the British people who stand alongside them, and will he therefore make it very clear that Britain will do whatever it takes to make the Chinese understand they cannot behave in this way without consequences?”
The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab MP, said in reply:
“I thank my Honourable Friend, and he's absolutely right. It feels to me that from the various interventions, and the points that have been made in relation to the polling that's been done on this, that we send out today a very clear message to the people of Hong Kong - we stand with you as a government, as a House and as a country.”
Earlier this week, Rob criticised China when allegations emerged that the Chinese Government are using pregnancy checks and forced intra-uterine devices, sterilisation and abortion to minimise birth rates of Uighur people in the Xinjiang region. Rob asked the minister for the Pacific whether he agreed that “if China is to play a leading role in the international community then it must, quite simply, abide by international laws and human rights.”
Speaking after today's appearance in parliament, Rob said:
"Twice in one week, we have seen the most outrageous behaviour by China - first through the utterly appalling treatment of the Uighur Muslim population in Xinjiang, and then by wantonly casting aside the rights of Hong Kong people that were agreed when the UK handed the colony back in 1997.
“China may seem a long way away, but it is involved in many parts of British life, especially our economy. So the Chinese government must be held to account for this behaviour, and I was pleased that Foreign Office ministers agreed with me about the need for China to live by the same rules as the rest of the civilised world if it wants to continue to do business in Britain"