China’s foreign ministry accused British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab of “gross interference” on Friday after he sent a tweet in support of recently-arrested pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong.
“The spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in [Hong Kong] strongly disapproved and firmly opposed the tweet by Dominic Raab,” the office said in a statement. “That is gross interference into Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs at large.”
In the tweet, Raab raised concerns over the Hong Kong police’s arrest of four politicians who ran Hong Kong Alliance, a group that organized the annual candlelight vigil commemorating the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The group has long called for an end to one-party rule in China.
The “arrests of members of the Hong Kong Alliance are another chilling demonstration of how the national security law is being used by Beijing to dismantle civil society and stifle political dissent in Hong Kong,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
The four face a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The Chinese spokesman added: “The national security law protects the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people, but any rights and freedoms have clear borderlines defined by law. Those who cross the red lines will be punished by law.”