The UK Parliament has offered residency to 3 million Hong Kong citizens, angered Chinese officials have consequently declared that ‘corresponding measures’ will be taken. For a bit of background, Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 after 156 years of ownership on the condition that Beijing preserved its autonomy for 50 years and UK would never offer residency to eligible Hong Kong residents. Several G10 countries believe the new security laws seriously breach this agreement. Whereas China have condemned the UK for breaching the later mentioned agreement. Since 2019, HK has been rife with violent protests. Residents are demanding full independence from China, citing the Chinese parliament’s controlling nature and extreme legislation as the primary reasons.
China’s response is important because of its significance in global trade. The Chinese have a significantly large trade-surplus with most countries which means they can keep trade wars going on for a long time. As we have seen with the never ending US-China trade-war, disagreements with China are never a good idea for anyone as China more often that not comes out on top. A potential UK-China trade-war is especially worrying as Britain enters a Brexit transition period where its existing trading connections will hugely impact its success. Britain no longer have the luxury of EU therefore, further trade obstacles in the form of tariffs and embargoes will severely stagnate Britain’s new economic strategy.