Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada joins allies in condemning latest Hong Kong arrests by China

The actions on Taiwan and Hong Kong will undoubtedly anger China

Canada’s foreign affairs minister is joining counterparts from the U.S., Britain and Australia in condemning last week’s mass arrest of politicians and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

Fifty-five people were arrested last week under a security law that China first imposed on the former British colony in the spring.

In a joint statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and his American, British and Australian counterparts say they had “serious concern” about the arrests.

They add that the National Security Law, which Chinese and Hong Kong authorities argue is necessary to maintain order in the city, is actually being used to crackdown on dissent and opposing political views.

The four foreign ministers go on to say the security law violates the promises China made to uphold democratic rights and freedoms in Hong Kong when it took ownership of the city back from Britain in 1997.

Most of those arrested last week had taken part in an unofficial primary for a legislative election that was later postponed.

Authorities allege the primary was part of a plot to seize control of the legislature in order to paralyze government and force the city’s leader to resign.

The 55 have not been charged, and all but three have been released on bail pending further investigation. Convictions could disqualify them from running for office.

The four foreign ministers said the next legislative election should include candidates representing a range of political opinions. Only half the city’s legislature is elected by popular vote.

“We call on the Hong Kong and Chinese central authorities to respect the legally guaranteed rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong without fear of arrest and detention,” they wrote.

The statement was signed by Champagne, Marise Payne of Australia, Dominic Raab of the U.K. and Mike Pompeo of the United States.

Separately, Pompeo announced Saturday that the U.S. is voiding longstanding restrictions on how its diplomats and others have contact with their counterparts in Taiwan, a self-governing island that China says should be under its rule.

The actions on Taiwan and Hong Kong will undoubtedly anger China, which views such moves as foreign interference in its internal affairs.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which is in its final days, is also sending United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft to Taiwan later this week. China has sharply criticized the upcoming visit, while Taiwan’s government has welcomed it.

—With files from The Associated Press.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

ChinaHong Kong

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road. (RCMP photo)
RCMP asking for help to find missing Chilliwack woman

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road

Abbotsford Recreation Centre is among the local arenas that are part of an in-depth review and analysis by the city. (File photo)
City of Abbotsford conducts survey on six local arenas

Input is part of in-depth analysis of current and future needs

A warrant was issued for Darwyn Sellars, 31, on Nov. 4, 2019, according to Black Press. (CrimeStoppers)
B.C. man’s rack of charges include Abbotsford and Williams Lake offences

Sentencing delayed against Darwyn Sellars, who pleaded guilty to lengthy list of charges

Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has opened two domes where customers can enjoy wine tastings and local goodies. (Photo by Megan Ashley Creative)
Abbotsford winery first in Fraser Valley to open wine-tasting domes

Singletree Winery offers two themed transparent enclosures

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Most Read