UK has a duty to protect Hong Kongers from tightening Chinese control

30 May 2020, 14:12 | Updated: 30 May 2020, 16:28

By Seán Hickey

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee said the UK government must support Hong Kongers as tensions rise in the city.

Matt Frei spoke to Tom Tugendhat as news coming from Hong Kong is suggesting that China is bringing an end to "one country, two systems" with new security legislation being introduced.

Matt pointed out that Donald Trump has recently announced that America has pulled support for Hong Kong as an autonomous state and wondered "if America ends the special status of Hong Kong, what should the British government do?" Conservative MP Mr Tugendhat broke down what he believes should happen.

He was quick to first state that he doesn't "think the Chinese will arrest everyone on the first day" but imagined that the government would be quick to establish a presence in the city state, with Chinese Communist Party security services probably the first to pop up in Hong Kong.

Mr Tugendhat told Matt that the Chinese government is not trying "cooperate, but control." "That would be the end of civil rights in Hong Kong" he added.

Protests in Hong Kong have intensified amid the end to "one country, two systems"
Protests in Hong Kong have intensified amid the end to "one country, two systems". Picture: PA

Mr Tugendhat added that "you don't have to arrest everybody for the impetus of control to be real" and argued that China flexing its muscles by simply moving into Hong Kong is enough to show the world who is in charge.

The chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee insisted that the UK should stand by its pledges to Hong Kongers from the 1980s. "The status we gave Hong Kong nationals in the 1980s which is to be a British national overseas" he said, and insisted that we should be pushing to make sure this is put into practice as China tightens its grip.

He told Matt that "we need to band together with other" countries in support for Hong Kongers, such as Canada and France, but also places like Japan which have been at the forefront in investigating China's movements in Hong Kong.