Government urged to audit UK assets of Hong Kong and China officials linked to human rights abuses | Political news

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The government should audit the UK assets of Chinese and Hong Kong officials linked to human rights abuses, demanded a group of cross-party MPs.

A group of 110 MPs have written to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss demanding the audit after recent research by human rights NGO Hong Kong Watch found that nine Hong Kong officials and 12 politicians ” patriots” accused of complicity in human rights abuses in the city had assets overseas. .

This includes five hong kong civil servants and six politicians who own property in the UK.

Labor MP Siobhain McDonagh and Tories Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Tom Tugendhat are leading the call and have urged Ms Truss to use the second anniversary of the introduction of Hong Kong’s national security law to consider an audit.

They said the audit could serve as the basis for a future Hong Kong-specific sanctions list.

Following anti-government protests that swept through Hong Kong in 2019, the Chinese government passed the National Security Law in 2020.

The law established four crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign organizations, with any open promotion of Hong Kong’s secession from China also considered a crime.

Protest in Hong Kong still
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About a million people – in a city of 7.5m – marched to protest against a proposed extradition bill
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Protesters move behind umbrellas as tear gas flies through the streets of Hong Kong
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The Hong Kong government has been accused of being a CCP puppet government

It was heavily criticized by other countries, mainly in the West, and prompted countries like the UK, US, Canada and Australia to relax immigration laws for migrants from Hong Kong. Kong fleeing the regime.

In January, MI5 warned that a Chinese government agent, Christine Lee, had been “engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CCP), engaging with members here in parliament.”

Read more from Sky News:
Hong Kong cardinal, 90, in court charged with violating China’s national security law
Hong Kong leader says she won’t seek second term after overseeing tough new security law

Ms McDonagh, who sits on the Treasury committee, said: ‘It is absolutely imperative that anyone accused of human rights abuses, including in Hong Kong, is not able to hold any assets or property here United Kingdom.

“We need to ask ourselves what it means to be complicit and whether our human rights rhetoric lives up to the truth. A full audit of these assets is urgently needed.”

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Hong Kong’s population is growing in the UK

Mr Tugendhat said having a better understanding of the grip of CCP officials in the UK is “an important step – we should start now”.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who along with Mr Tugendhat has been banned from China for speaking out about its human rights abuses, said Ms Truss should learn from the Western response to the war in Ukraine, in which hundreds of politicians and Russian oligarchs have been punished.

Undertaking an audit of British assets of Chinese and Hong Kong officials, he said, “would serve as a pathway for the UK to introduce a Hong Kong-specific Magnitsky-style list of sanctions against those responsible for breaches. of human rights in the city”. .

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