Media reports have suggested that a member of the Hong Kong police has shot a protester using live ammunition. The news has over-shadowed the celebrations and events across China to mark the seventieth anniversary of communist rule in the country.
Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, said in a statement:
“Whilst there is no excuse for violence, the use of live ammunition is disproportionate, and only risks inflaming the situation. This incident underlines the need for a constructive dialogue to address the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong. We need to see restraint and a de-escalation from both protesters and the Hong Kong authorities.”
Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, has spoken by phone to Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. They discussed the current political protests in Hong Kong and the future of the former British colony.
A spokesperson for Raab said:
“The Foreign Secretary has called Carrie Lam to discuss his concerns about the situation in Hong Kong, and the protests there. The Foreign Secretary underlined the strength of the relationship between the UK and Hong Kong, noting our support for Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy as provided for in the Joint Declaration and our commitment to the principle of ‘One country, Two systems’.
The Foreign Secretary condemned violent acts by all sides but emphasised the right to peaceful protest, noting that hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people had chosen this route to express their views. He underlined that the violence should not cloud the lawful actions of the majority.
The Foreign Secretary emphasised the need to find a way forward through meaningful political dialogue, and a fully independent investigation into recent events as a way to build trust.”
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has met with Premier Li of China, in a meeting at Brussels. The two discussed the future economic ties between the two countries as well as the currently controversial matter of political activity in Hong Kong.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:
“The two leaders began by discussing the Prime Minister’s successful visit to China earlier this year, when she had been joined by a UK trade delegation.
They discussed the opportunity to build further upon that visit, and the golden era in UK-China relations. Premier Li said he looked forward to ushering in a diamond era in the relationship.
The Prime Minister updated Premier Li on the Brexit negotiations. She said she looked forward to further strengthening our economic ties with China, including our trade relationship, in the future.
The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s firm commitment to the rules based international system, including the importance of freedom of navigation and maritime security, in line with international law.
On Hong Kong, they agreed on the continued importance of one country, two systems”.
Mark Field, the Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, is visiting Hong Kong today to discuss the UK relationship with the former British colony.
Field, who will also be visiting China, South Korea and Singapore, said:
“Hong Kong is of great importance to the UK, and our long-standing commitment to Hong Kong as co-signatory of the Joint Declaration is as strong as ever. I am delighted to be the first UK Minister to visit Hong Kong since the 20th anniversary of the handover earlier this year.
The UK remains committed to strengthening its deep and wide-ranging relationship with Hong Kong across a number of areas, including trade and investment, education, culture, innovation and technology, and I look forward to discussing these issues and more during my visit”.