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British foreign secretary urged to highlight Hong Kong abuses on upcoming Beijing trip

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British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s delayed visit to China will go ahead next week against the backdrop of the country’s worsening economic crisis. The Telegraph reported that James Clevery will question China’s sanctions on British Members of Parliament and human rights violations against Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Mark Sabah, UK and EU Director of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation), told Radio Free Asia Mandarin, “James Cleverly must hold China to account for its human rights violations. He should make it clear that Britain will not tolerate Beijing's current behaviour for the sake of the economy. China cannot afford to lose business partners in its current state of economic turmoil, so let's make doing business have a cost.”

The CFHK Foundation condemns the suggested delay of Jimmy Lai’s national security trial from 25 September 2023 to 18 December 2023. Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, head of Jimmy Lai and Sebastien Lai’s international legal team, told the CFHK Foundation, “The international community cannot stand by and await ‘justice to run its course’ in Hong Kong when the rule of law lies in tatters and the authorities are doing everything in their power to delay and disrupt these proceedings. Now the UK government and international community must step in and take robust, speedy action to ensure Mr Lai is released.”

The CFHK Foundation, Ronald Reagan Institute and Foundation for Defense of Democracies are co-hosting a screening of The Hong Konger: Jimmy Lai’s Extraordinary Struggle for Freedom and panel discussion featuring Sebastien Lai on 7 September 2023. Secure your virtual ticket by clicking to register here.

U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY-06) spoke at a Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York despite warnings from pro-democracy activists and lawmakers that the event was backed by the Hong Kong government. Frances Hui, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for the CFHK Foundation, referred to Representative Meng’s participation as “shameful” and told the National Review, “It also shows the scale of the Chinese Communist Party’s penetration into American politics.”

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong national security police continue to harass the family members and friends of the exiled Hong Kong activists in the U.S., U.K., and Australia with HK$1 million bounties for their arrests. This week, the Hong Kong authorities questioned the sister-in-law of U.K.-based Nathan Law and two brothers of U.S.-based Anna Kwok.

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal denied former university student Lui Sai-yu the customary one-third sentence discount for pleading guilty.

Hong Kong Secretary for Security Christ Tang said “artistic creations” are a pretext to endangering national security in response to Danish Pillar of Shame sculptor Jens Galschiøt demanding the return of the Tiananmen crackdown monument after it was confiscated under the National Security Law.

The Fringe Club in Hong Kong, which previously offered rent-free space for artists to exhibit or perform, is on the market for any Hong Kong non-profit organisation that agrees to maintain the historic building and “safeguard national security” under a new lease.

UK-China Relations

The British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office(FCDO) asked UK government officials to refrain from calling China a “hostile state” so as to not upset Beijing.

The Times exposed how Chinese security agents are using LinkedIn to lure British government officialsto exchange state secrets for money and business deals. Gawain Towler, former UK Independence Party spokesperson, told The Telegraph that Beijing’s security services posed as businesspeople seeking his expertise to lure him to Hong Kong in 2018.

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