UK has ‘poisoned’ relations with China, says ambassador

Liu Xiaoming has strong words about Britain's recent pushback on China | Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

UK has ‘poisoned’ relations with China, says ambassador

Some British politicians are adopting a ‘Cold War warrior’ mentality, says Liu Xiaoming.


7/30/20, 2:53 PM CET

Updated 7/30/20, 2:56 PM CET

LONDON — The U.K. has “poisoned the atmosphere” of its relations with China and is putting the post-Brexit vision of “Global Britain” at risk by “decoupling” from Beijing, the Chinese ambassador to the U.K. said in a belligerent online press conference.

Liu Xiaoming said the relationship between the two states was at “a historic political juncture” following recent disputes over Hong Kong and the role of tech firm Huawei in the U.K.’s 5G network. He warned that London would “pay the price” if it treated China as a hostile state.

The ambassador repeated a threat to scrap the legal status of British National Overseas passports in Hong Kong; a response to the U.K.’s offer of enhanced visa rights to up to three million Hong Kongers. The U.K. government’s move was in retaliation to China’s imposition of draconian new security laws on the territory.

Liu said that the U.K.’s decision to remove Huawei technology from its 5G network — in response to U.S. sanctions on the firm — was not about one company but about “how the U.K. sees and deals with China.”

“Does it see China as an opportunity and partner or a threat … as a friendly country or a hostile or potentially hostile state?”

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