05:07 GMT30 November 2020
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    The news comes after London said in early October it would take a "hard-headed" approach to the world's second-largest economy amid skyrocketing tensions over a new national security law.

    The United Kingdom was urged to reverse changes to London's visa regulations for British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders from Hong Kong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

    Speaking to a Bloomberg reporter about countermeasures Beijing could consider against Britain, Chinese foreign spokesman Zhao Lijian said that mainland authorities had "already stated its solemn position on relevant issues repeatedly".

    "The UK has been obstinately hyping up the [BNO] passport issue, openly breaching its commitment and blatantly interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs. This will only end up harming its own interests," he said.

    Zhao added that Beijing will consider ending recognition of BNO passports as valid travel documents and may take further countermeasures, Zhao added.

    The news comes after the British Home Office announced in July it would allow Hong Kong residents to work and live in the UK up to five years and apply for British citizenship following a further year of residency.

    Tensions between Beijing, London, Brussels and Washington have surged after the former passed its national security law, sparking further diplomatic rows and a series of countermeasures against Chinese officials, including sanctions and blacklists.

    London and Washington have accused Beijing of violating the 1997 UK-China 'one country, two systems' agreement, but Beijing denies the claims, stating its right to defend its territory.

    Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said at an event on China's National Day that the legislation had allowed citizens to "exercise their rights and liberties in accordance with the law".



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