China threatens Shrewsbury MP with sanctions over his Hong Kong comments

A Shropshire MP has been warned he could face 'sanctions' from China for criticising the Communist regime on social media.

Daniel Kawczynski
Daniel Kawczynski

The threats were made against Daniel Kawczynski in a Chinese Communist Party newspaper after he accused the regime of breaking its obligations to the people of Hong Kong.

The Shrewsbury and Atcham MP said he considered the threats to be 'deeply disturbing', but said he would not be intimidated and would continue to speak out.

"I would hold it as a badge of honour to have sanctions put on me by this brutal Communist regime," he said.

The Global Times, an English-language newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist Party, this week attacked Mr Kawczynski for his comments on Twitter.

The newspaper quoted Li Xiaobing of Nankai University, saying that "Kawczynski could be a candidate for the next round of sanctions".

Mr Kawczynski said he had no idea what such measures would involve, although it would almost certainly mean he was banned from travelling to China.

"I find it very disturbing that these Chinese newspapers are trying to silence and intimidate British members of parliament in this way, of threatening us with sanctions," he said.

"The UK has historical responsibilities to the people of Hong Kong.

'Suppression

"The agreement Margaret Thatcher signed with Communist representatives in 1984, with a commitment to 'one country, two systems', is being blatantly disregarded and overturned.

"The suppression of the people of Hong Kong is something that British members of parliament have a duty to speak about, and I will continue to articulate my concerns, and not be intimidated by these sort of threats."

He said a number of his colleagues in parliament had also been subjected to sanctions. One of these is thought to be former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, who has also criticised China for its human rights record.

The Global Times, a subsidiary of the domestic People's Daily newspaper, said it would be impossible for China to adhere to the 'one country, two systems' agreement.

"The UK has laid too many landmines and we will sweep them sooner or later," Mr Li was quoted as saying.

The newspaper accused Mr Kawczynski of double standards, after he was quoted as saying "there is huge potential for China-UK cooperation" in an interview with another Chinese newspaper in February 2018.

"Having double standards is typical for Western politicians," said the newspaper.

'Political speculators'

Mr Li added: "The British lawmaker knows how to attract attention at a certain time to drive his political career. "We must be cautious in dealing with Western politicians."

An un-named German politician was also accused of 'defaming' China on Twitter in the article.

It reported that Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said such "political speculators" who have long attacked China are very likely to be sanctioned on China's countermeasure list.

"China will hit back when Western politicians and countries break the bottom line of China's national interests," said Mr Cui.

This week the Foreign Office announced it would be cutting aid to China by 95 per cent to £1 million.

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