9 Jul 2020

Foreign ministers of Five Eyes discuss Hong Kong on call - official

4:09 pm on 9 July 2020

Foreign ministers from the Five Eyes intelligence sharing group discussed the situation in Hong Kong during a conference call on Wednesday, a Canadian government official told Reuters.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

The official declined to elaborate. The Five Eyes groups Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Separately, Canada's Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne tweeted that he discussed with his counterparts from the other countries many issues regarding international peace and security.

Beijing imposed a new national security legislation on Hong Kong last week despite protests from residents of the island and Western nations, setting China's freest city and a major financial hub on a more authoritarian track.

Since then Canada has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and said it could boost immigration from the former British colony.

Last week, Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters questioned the controversial new security law, saying it was a critical moment for fundamental human rights and freedoms protected in Hong Kong for generations.

Peters said the "one country, two systems" framework - after the city was handed back to China from British control in 1997 - was meant to be in place for decades.

"Anybody who was there, anybody who read about it is asking what's going on here, in terms of the commitment you made and we're asking you to keep your word," he said.

The government will be studying the legislation carefully and closely monitoring the impact on the people of Hong Kong, Peters said.

-Reuters / RNZ

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