British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said the country is withdrawing from the extradition agreement with Hong Kong. In addition, the kingdom will extend an arms embargo to Hong Kong. London’s actions are dictated by the introduction of the law on national security in the autonomy at the suggestion of Beijing. The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers Raab was announced on the day of the arrival of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Britain. Confrontation with China will be one of the central topics of the talks.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began his two-day visit to the UK on July 20, where he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Minister Dominic Raab. The parties have enough topics for discussion, especially considering that in six months London will finally leave the European Union and that the leaders of the United Kingdom and the United States have long announced a certain trade deal.
On the agenda is the very agreement, the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and China. Beijing was raised in light of the Hong Kong protests over the national security law.
And in this regard, the United States, consistently promoting anti-Chinese policy in Europe, has finally found an ally. Britain is one of the countries that have joined in Washington’s criticism of Beijing. London has historical grounds for its condemnatory statements in the form of allegations of violation of the Joint Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Transfer of Hong Kong to the PRC, signed in 1984.
By the time Pompeo arrived, Great Britain had created fertile ground. Speaking in parliament today, Dominic Raab said London is suspending the extradition agreement with Hong Kong indefinitely.
“I would like to add that we will not consider the possibility of restoring these agreements until clear and firm guarantees are provided, which will make sure that these agreements cannot be abused through the new law on national security,” he stressed. Raab.
In addition, the kingdom will extend an arms embargo to Hong Kong, which has been in effect against mainland China since 1989.
London’s decision comes a week after the government decided to ban the Chinese company Huawei until 2027 from participating in the rollout of UK 5G networks.
British television channel Sky News reported that
London’s decision was influenced by US sanctions against Huawei, imposed in May, when the White House tried to deny the company access to American-based computer chips.
As a result, there were fears that Huawei would start using unreliable chips: as a result, the British National Cyber Security Center concluded that there are potential threats to Huawei systems for the UK.
According to The Guardian, citing a source, the British government privately told Huawei representatives that the ban was, in part, based on “geopolitical” reasons due to tremendous pressure from US President Donald Trump.
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However, the head of the White House himself took responsibility for the decision of London, presenting it as his personal merit.
“We have convinced many countries – I did it myself – not to use Huawei because we think this is a big security risk, a very big security risk,” the US President said at a press conference, welcoming the UK’s decision.
Thus, the London ban became a kind of advance in the process of creating a trade agreement with the United States, which is badly needed by the British government. The successful deal will confirm the correctness of the Eurosceptic Boris Johnson, who led the campaign for the country’s early exit from the EU. In addition, it is not clear on what economic terms the parties will disperse – the process of negotiations on trade agreements with Brussels is proceeding extremely difficult.
For Trump, the anti-China issue has become one of the central topics around which he is building his election campaign. The coronavirus pandemic ruined his plans to list all his economic achievements, and the head of the White House switched to the mechanism of finding an external enemy, which can be blamed for the crisis, at the same time demonstrating to the voters that the enemy was responsible.
The American leader is indeed moving in this direction consistently. On July 16, he signed a law on sanctions against Beijing in connection with the situation in Hong Kong, as well as an executive order on the abolition of trade and economic preferences for this Special Administrative Region of the PRC. In announcing his decision, Trump emphasized that he holds China responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.
“They could have stopped her,” the American leader said and moved on to another topic – that if Joe Biden wins the US elections, it will be a “gift to the Chinese Communist Party.”