China's ambassador to the United Kingdom said on Sunday that if attempts are made to impose sanctions on Chinese officials by Britain in light of the security law enforced in Hong Kong, the Asian superpower will respond resolutely.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, "If UK government goes that far to impose sanctions on any individual in China, China will certainly make a resolute response to it." Several lawmakers belonging to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party have opined that sanctions must be employed to target officials from China.
Introducing New Sanctions
Earlier this month Britain introduced a new sanctions regime to target individuals it says are involved in human rights abuses or organized crime. "You've seen what happens in the United States - they sanction Chinese officials, we sanction their senators, their officials. I do not want to see this tit-for-tat happen in... China-UK relations," Xiaoming added.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the same program he would not be drawn on future additions to Britain's sanctions list but he denied that Britain would be too weak to challenge China through this channel.
Law Crucial To Bolster National Security Defences
Raab said he would update Britain's parliament to outline further measures in Hong Kong and China on Monday. Britain says the new national security law in Hong Kong breaches agreements made before the handover and that China is crushing the freedoms that have helped make Hong Kong one of the world's biggest financial hubs.
Hong Kong and Beijing officials have said the law is vital to plug holes in national security defences exposed by recent protests. China has repeatedly told Western powers to stop meddling in Hong Kong's affairs.
(With inputs from agencies)