However, Britain’s willingness to take on China as the Brexit process calls for new trade links outside the EU could be limited.
Lord Chris Patten, the last colonial governor, has called on the British government to do more to support the protesters, saying “We shouldn’t forget there is such a thing as honour, and we’re honour-bound to stand up for freedom in Hong Kong, the freedoms we promised people for years.”
In late June, the UK halted further export licenses for crowd control equipment indefinitely until human rights concerns were “thoroughly addressed,” said then-Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt.
Some of the tear gas canisters fired appeared to have been made by British defence contractor PW Defence, according to Amnesty International, a human rights group.
In an interview with a Chinese language broadcaster last week, Mr Johnson said his government would be “very pro-China.”
Where the protests stand
Hong Kong is set to enter its ninth consecutive weekend of mass demonstrations. The leaderless movement has used social media and mass Airdrops to spread the word, with many groups organising rallies in several neighbourhoods.