China strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposes UK fabricating charges against Chinese citizens: FM

China voiced strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition on Friday toward the UK continuously fabricating charges and cases under the so-called pretext of national security and stigmatizing China and even arbitrarily arresting and prosecuting Chinese citizens in the UK.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the UK also interfered with the normal operations of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (ETO) in London when asked about the second hearing of the case involving an employee of the office that took place at the Central Criminal Court in the UK on Friday.

The UK’s false accusations and malicious actions are a desecration of the spirit of the rule of law, a political manipulation under the guise of national security, a serious violation of the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the UK, a serious damage to China-UK relations, a serious violation of the principles of international law and the basic norms of international relations, and also a serious damage to the UK’s own image, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a press conference on Friday.

China strongly urges the UK to immediately correct its wrongdoings, effectively safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the UK, and ensure the normal functioning of the ETO in London, Wang noted. “China will take strong measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese citizens and institutions,” the spokesperson said.

Chung Biu Yuen, 63, Chi Leung Wai, also known as Peter Wai, 38, and Matthew Trickett, 37, were arrested earlier this month following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, according to Reuters. The three men were changed with “assisting Hong Kong’s foreign intelligence service in Britain.”

Some media reported that Yuen is a retired Hong Kong police officer who is listed as an office manager at the ETO in London.

The Chinese side firmly rejected and strongly condemned the UK’s fabrication of the so-called case and its unwarranted accusations against the HKSAR government. It has made serious representations to the UK side on the matter.

Trickett was found dead in a park in Maidenhead, west of London, on Sunday afternoon, police said. They termed the death “unexplained” and are investigating, the AP reported on Wednesday.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR government, Algernon Yau, met with the Deputy Consul-General of the UK in Hong Kong on the incident regarding the ETO in London on Thursday.

Yau reiterated the HKSAR government’s concern about the incident, especially the death of a person who was arrested by the UK Police and reportedly a UK immigration officer, and demanded the UK side give an open account of the incident as soon as possible to let the public know the truth and prevent unwarranted speculation.

Yau also reiterated that the UK should fairly handle the matter, protect the legitimate rights and interests of the arrestees, and ensure the normal operation of the ETO.

The Hong Kong official also stressed that all ETO activities have been conducted in accordance with the law. The UK government is obliged to ensure the normal work and activities of the ETO are free from interruption and conducted in an orderly manner.

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