China has strongly rebuked the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada after being accused of a concerted effort to silence critics in Hong Kong, reports BBC.The countries, which form the Five Eyes alliance,criticized China's imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong.They urged Beijing to reverse course.A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman warned countries to stay out of China's affairs saying: "They should be careful or their eyes will be plucked out."
"The Chinese never make trouble and are never afraid of anything," Zhao Lijian told journalists in Beijing on Thursday, saying it did not "matter if they had five or 10 eyes". Last week, Hong Kong expelled four pro-democracy lawmakers from its legislature after Beijing passed a resolution allowing the city's government to dismiss politicians deemed a threat to national security. In response, all of Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers announced their resignation. For the first time since the UK handed the territory back to China in 1997, the body has almost no dissenting voices.
The dismissal of the four lawmakers was viewed by many as the latest attempt by China to restrict Hong Kong's freedoms, something Beijing denies.Foreign ministers from the Five Eyes group urged China to reinstate them, saying the move was a clear breach of Beijing's legally binding commitments to protect the territory's freedoms and autonomy.
They also accused Beijing of undermining the rights of people in Hong Kong to elect their representatives.Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing alliance of the five Anglophone countries set up during the Cold War and initially developed to monitor the USSR and its allies.
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