China accuses Britain of harboring and protecting “fugitives” from justice

China accused Britain of providing protection to what it called “fugitives” from justice, in the wake of British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s condemnation of Hong Kong’s decision to allocate financial rewards for information leading to the arrest of prominent activists for democracy.

“British politicians have publicly offered protection to the fugitives,” a spokesman for Beijing’s embassy in Britain said in a statement late Monday.

Map of former British Hong Kong

“This is a blatant interference in the rule of law in Hong Kong and China’s internal affairs,” he added, adding that “China expresses its strong indignation and firmly opposes this.”

On Monday, Hong Kong police offered a reward of one million Hong Kong dollars for information leading to the arrest of eight prominent overseas democracy activists wanted on charges of national security crimes.

The eight activists fled after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law in Hong Kong in mid-2020 to suppress dissent in the wake of violent mass protests in 2019.

Responding to accusations against activists, some of whom live in Britain, Cleverly warned Beijing: “We will not tolerate any attempts by China to intimidate and silence individuals in the UK and abroad.”

But Beijing responded through its embassy in Britain on Monday, calling on “relevant British politicians to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and Hong Kong affairs, and stop using these spoilers from Hong Kong to undermine China’s sovereignty and security.”

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