Johnson says China's actions in Hong Kong risk eroding Sino-UK agreement

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a daily briefing to update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain June 3, 2020. Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said China’s actions in Hong Kong risked “badly eroding” the protection of political freedoms enshrined in the Sino-British agreement.

“I do think that what is happening now is potentially going to be an infringement of the Sino-UK, China-British agreement ... (which) protects political and civic freedoms in Hong Kong. That looks as though it could be very, very badly eroded by what is being proposed,” he told reporters during the government’s daily COVID-19 news briefing on Wednesday.

“What we are saying is that we want to hold out our hand, a hand of friendship and support and loyalty, to the people of Hong Kong.”

He added that he saw no contradiction between the UK’s views on Hong Kong and Chinese telecoms group Huawei, and wanting a “good, friendly, clear-eyed working relationship” with China.

Reporting by David Milliken and Estelle Shirbon; writing by Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison