China accuses UK of harbouring Hong Kong fugitives
By Simon Fraser
July 4th, 2023
China says the UK is sheltering fugitives after Hong Kong put bounties on the heads of eight pro-democracy activists who fled the territory.
The statement from its London embassy came after the UK said it would not tolerate attempts by China to silence individuals in the UK or overseas.
The eight left the former British territory after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law in 2020.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee said they would be “pursued for life”.
He urged them to give themselves up, adding that otherwise they would spend their days in fear.
“British politicians have openly offered protection for fugitives,” a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London said late on Monday, condemning what it alleged was “crude interference in Hong Kong’s rule of law and China’s internal affairs”.
On Monday a bounty of HK$1m (£100,581; $127,637) was offered for the activists’ arrest.
The eight named in the announcement are all based in the UK, the US and Australia – countries which do not have extradition treaties with China.