China is currently fighting offers from several countries to Hong Kong seeking refuge in its new security laws. Several countries have pledged to help contain possible human rights abuses as a result of Beijing’s impending shadow. Among those included are the United Kingdom and Australia.
More recently, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has warned Australia to stop interfering in China’s affairs.
He said in a daily briefing: “We reserve the right to take action and all the consequences will be borne by the Australian side”.
When asked what international law Australia is violating, he said: “Non-interference is a basic standard in international relations. Do I need to say more? “
The communist nation also deplored and opposed what it called “unfounded accusations and measures” by the Australian government in Hong Kong.
China’s latest: Beijing threatened ‘countermeasures’ against the US with its journalist visas (Image: GETTY / PA)
Xi Jinping latest: China’s leader issued warnings to several countries about Hong Kong visas (Image: GETTY)
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Australia said in a statement that “we urge the Australian side to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs under any pretext or in any way.
“Otherwise, it will lead to nothing but lifting a rock just to reach your own feet.”
Australia had said it was suspending the Hong Kong extradition treaty, while announcing measures to attract residents and businesses there.
Earlier this month, the United Kingdom became the focus of China’s ire after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to offer up to three million Hong Kong citizens to British citizenship.
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The UK ambassador to Beijing shortly afterwards warned the UK not to interfere with Hong Kong, saying its offer of citizenship was tantamount to “major interference”.
It is not the first time that Xi Jinping – president of China – has fueled aggression in Western countries due to visa complications.
Earlier this year, Donald Trump’s U.S. became the target of retaliation after the country tightened its visa restrictions on Chinese journalists.
The move came after Beijing expelled more than a dozen American reporters.
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Hong Kong News: Beijing imposed strict new security laws on the autonomous island last month (Image: GETTY)
With the new visa rules, Chinese journalists visiting the US can stay a maximum of 90 days, with the possibility to request an extension.
Visas for Chinese journalists lasted as long as the job lasted.
Beijing furiously reported the news, issuing a condemning threat to the Trump administration.
During a press conference in May, Zhao said: “We express our strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this wrong action by the United States, which is an escalation of political repression in the Chinese media.
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“We ask the United States to correct its mistake immediately, otherwise China will have no choice but to take countermeasures.”
China had already started to remove American journalists from the continent.
In February, China expelled three journalists from the Wall Street Journal after the newspaper published an opinion piece on the coronavirus crisis with a headline that Beijing called racist.
Weeks later, Washington restricted the number of Chinese citizens from state news agencies in the United States.
News from Asia: Several Asian nations, including India, have publicly denounced Xi and his regime (Image: GETTY)
Beijing retaliated in March by expelling more than a dozen American journalists from The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
The rise in diplomatic tensions occurred amid countries’ rhetorical battle over the coronavirus outbreak.
Both sides used the pandemic as a point of guilt.
While the United States insists that China’s neglect caused the outbreak, Beijing maintains that the virus was attacked by American troops during Wuhan’s military games in October.