China warned the UK on Thursday it could retaliate with “corresponding measures” following the UK’s decision to extend a broader path to British citizenship for residents of Hong Kong. The Chinese embassy in London issued a statement stressing that “all Chinese compatriots living in Hong Kong are Chinese nationals.”
The Hong Kong police made hundreds of arrests Wednesday under a controversial new so-called security law in the Chinese-administrated area. Some were arrested for waving flags or “conducting themselves with intent such as secession or subversion.” Hong Kong has seen widespread pro-independence and pro-democracy protests over the last year.
Hong Kong was under British jurisdiction until 1997 when it was handed over to China. A key part of the handover deal was that Beijing would preserve the city’s judicial and legislative autonomy, a promise that critics say has been violated.
Wednesday’s clashes with police took place on the anniversary of the handover. While most protests were apparently peaceful, one man was arrested on Thursday morning after allegedly stabbing a police officer. Authorities say the 24-year-old had boarded a flight to London but was detained and taken off the plane. Police posted a video on social media on Wednesday of a police officer bleeding from his arm. The UK has sought closer relations with China since they left the European Union in January 2020. UK media reported that British officials summoned the Chinese ambassador to meet later in the day following the publication of the statement, after China said the UK should “refrain from interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any way.”
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