Chinese Embassy in Ireland mocks Boris Johnson over Brexit and NI Protocol – The Irish Times

The Chinese Embassy in Ireland mocked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Johnson marked the 25th anniversary of the return of the former British colony of Hong Kong to China with a tweet: “25 years ago we made a promise to the people of Hong Kong. We intend to keep it”.

The Chinese Embassy in Ireland took the tweet and replied: “Two years ago we made a promise to the Northern Ireland protocol. We are determined to break it.

The tweet referred to proposed legislation by Mr Johnson’s government which seeks to override the Northern Ireland Protocol his government has signed up to 2019.

Earlier this week, Mr Johnson said Britain would do all it could to hold Beijing to its democratic rights commitments it made in 1997. Mr Johnson said China had failed to live up to its pledge to abide by a “One country, two systems” agreement agreed upon as part of the agreement that ended British colonial rule. Britain has particularly criticized a national security law imposed in 2020 and electoral changes that it says erode Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy.

The Chinese Embassy’s tweet has been seized upon by many of Mr Johnson’s critics, who believe it shows how little authority the UK has to lecture other countries on treaty compliance international.

Gavin Barwell, the former Downing Street chief of staff to Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, tweeted in response: ‘That’s why going back on our word is such a bad idea: it doesn’t just hurt our relationship with our friends, it was always going to be quoted to us when we accuse others of not honoring their commitments. Not too late to stop this act of self-harm.

Author Edwin Hayward added: ‘Boris Johnson has dragged the UK’s reputation so deep in the mud that an official Chinese Embassy account feels perfectly comfortable openly trolling him.’

Chris Patton, Hong Kong’s last governor, told Sky News that the British government’s threat to break an international agreement on the Northern Ireland protocol undermined his moral authority.

“If and when we violate international agreements, it will come back and hit us like a boomerang,” he said.


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Edward L. Robinett