China warning: COLD WAR II ‘already started’ – UK defence official issues chilling warning

3 min

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Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the Defence Select Committee, said Britain was “in denial” about a second Cold War and called for a “full foreign policy strategic reset” towards the nation.

Mr Ellwood gave the chilling warning in an interview with Sky News as the government made the decision to suspend an extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

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Tobias Ellwood accused the UK of having “turned a blind eye to China’s human rights record.” (Image: Jack Taylor / Getty)

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the extradition treaty move yesterday, which now means the two nations can no longer transport criminals between each country to face justice.

The committee chair called the decision “well overdue”, and said the UK had “turned a blind eye to China’s human rights record” for decades.

Mr Ellwood told Sky News: “It’s a change of attitude I think we’re seeing from the foreign secretary and from this government, and I think well overdue.

“So I’m glad to see a more robust line. Because for decades I think we’ve turned a blind eye to China’s human rights record, its democratic deficit, in the hope that China would embrace Western-style norms and standards.

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Dominic Raab announced an arms embargo on Hong Kong following the national security law. (Image: Leon Neal / Getty)

“That clearly hasn’t happened. They’re pursuing a very different geopolitical agenda and they’re now being found out; their aggression in Hong Kong; the militarisation of the South China Sea; manipulation of the digital world; and of course, failure to honour WTO rules.”

Under the UK-Hong Kong extradition treaty, if someone in the UK is suspected of a crime in Hong Kong, then Hong Kong authorities could have asked the UK to hand the suspect over.

The UK is now concerned that anyone extradited to Hong Kong could be sent to China, following Beijing’s imposition of a controversial national security law on the region at the end of June.

Mr Raab said that the UK “wants a positive relationship with China.”

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Beijing’s imposition of the security law on Hong Kong has sparked some backlash from residents. (Image: Isaac Lawrence / AFP / Getty)

But he said the new law “has significantly changed key assumptions underpinning our extradition treaty arrangements with Hong Kong”.

He added: “I’m particularly concerned about articles 55 to 59 of the law, which give mainland Chinese authorities the ability to assume jurisdiction over certain cases, and to try those cases in mainland Chinese courts.

“I have consulted with the Home Secretary, the Justice Secretary, and the Attorney General, and the government has decided to suspend the extradition treaty immediately and indefinitely.

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Hong Kong skyline. The UK is due to relax immigration rules on certain Hong Kong residents. (Image: plus49/ Construction Photography / Avalon / Getty)

“There remains considerable uncertainty about the way in which the new national security law will be enforced; I would just say this: The United Kingdom is watching. And the whole world is watching.”

Mr Raab also announced that Britain would impose an arms embargo on Hong Kong that was already applied to mainland China since 1989.

It means the UK will no longer export “potentially lethal weapons, their components, or ammunition” to Hong Kong.

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