USA and UK officials raised China’s plan to impose new security legislation on Hong Kong at summit, prompting China and Russia to criticise the United States for excessive use of force against black people. The 15-member council informally discussed Hong Kong in a closed virtual meeting after China opposed a US call on Wednesday for a formal open council meeting, arguing that it was not an issue of international peace and security.
US Ambassador Kelly Craft asked: “Are we going to take the honourable stand to defend the human rights and the dignified way of life that millions of Hong Kong citizens have enjoyed and deserve … or are we going to allow the Chinese Communist Party to violate international law and force its will on the people of Hong Kong?”
China’s parliament on Thursday approved a decision to move forward with legislation that democracy activists, diplomats and some in the business world fear will jeopardise Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status and role as a global financial hub.
Acting British UN Ambassador Jonathan Allen said after the council discussion: “This legislation risks curtailing the freedoms that China has undertaken to uphold as a matter of international law.
“We are also extremely concerned that it will exacerbate the existing deep divisions in Hong Kong.”
Diplomats said Russia and China responded during the council discussion by criticising the United States over the Minneapolis killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd – seen on video gasping for breath while a white police officer knelt on his neck – and its handling of growing unrest.
Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter after the council discussion: “Why US denies China’s right to restore peace & order in Hong Kong while brutally dispersing crowds at home?”
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It comes after growing scrutiny from the rest of the world over China and President Xi Jinping’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
World leaders have demand and full and open investigation into the Chinese authorities’ handling over the virus which has caused more than 360,000 deaths across the globe.
But the diplomatic feud over Hong Kong is the latest issue with Xi.
This evening Donald Trump ordered his administration to slap sanctions on Beijing officials.
The US President said China had broken its word over Hong Kong autonomy.
President Trump said on Friday he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck in a killing that triggered three days of violent protests in Minneapolis.
Mr Trump, speaking during an event at the White House, also said “we can’t allow” the demonstrations in Minneapolis “to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos.”