China warns the UK it will 'bear the consequences' of defying them on Hong Kong, as Mike Pompeo arrives in London

  • China's UK ambassador has said that Boris Johnson's government will 'bear the consequences' if it does not stop interfering in China's affairs.
  • It comes after the UK said it would not extradite anyone to Hong Kong after China imposed a draconian security law there.
  • Tensions between Beijing and London have increased dramatically in recent weeks, amid tussles over issues including Huawei and Hong Kong.
  • The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in London on Tuesday, with plans to press the UK to take further action against China.
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The UK will "bear the consequences" for scrapping its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, China's ambassador has warned, adding that Boris Johnson's government had "contravened international law and the basic norms governing international relations."

Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, on Monday said the UK would no longer extradite anyone to Hong Kong after China imposed a contested security law there which has already seen hundreds of pro-democracy protestors arrested. He also said the UK would stop selling arms to Hong Kong.

China's ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming responded by saying that the UK had "blatantly interfered in China's internal affairs" and threatened unspecified consequences.

Chinese Communist Party officials indicated last week that Beijing could respond by placing economic sanctions on British firms which operate in China, including Jaguar Land Rover and GlaxoSmithKline.

The escalation in tensions comes as Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, arrived in London to discuss issues including how to counter China's growing economic and diplomatic power.

Last week, Johnson said he would ban Huawei equipment from the UK's 5G network amid concerns that the tech giant shares information with the Chinese state. Boris Johnson has also angered China by offering visas to 3 million Hong Kong residents amid concerns over the new security law.

"We welcome news that the UK will prohibit new purchases of 5G equipment from Huawei and phase out existing Huawei equipment from its 5G telecommunications networks," said the US State Department in a statement about Pompeo's visit to London.

"The UK made this important decision to protect its national security interests, just as countries around the world are doing."

"Allowing untrusted, high-risk vendors, such as Huawei, into any part of 5G networks makes critical systems vulnerable to disruption, manipulation, and espionage, and puts sensitive government, commercial, and personal information at risk."

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