China has expressed sharp disapproval towards Five Eyes countries (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada) after China moved to impose new rules that would disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong.
After criticism from the Five Eyes, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman warned that "eyes" would be "plucked out" if the countries weren't "careful" in how they conducted themselves.
"The Chinese never make trouble and are never afraid of anything," said Zhao Lijian told journalists in Beijing. "It does not matter if they had five or 10 eyes," he added.
The criticism came after China expelled pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong's legislature, according to BBC. In response, Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers all resigned, meaning that there was not a single dissenting voice in the Hong Kong's government for the first time since 1997.
"We urge the Chinese central authorities to re-consider their actions against Hong Kong’s elected legislature and immediately reinstate the Legislative Council members,” wrote foreign ministers from Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States in a statement, according to Reuters.
Canada told to respect China
Last week, Chinese ambassador Cong Peiwu told Ottawa Life Magazine that Canada needed to stop undermining the relationship between China and Canada.
"The process of mutual respect was broken by Canada," said ambassador Cong Peiwu, according to Blacklock's Reporter. "Mutual respect means we respect systems here and the choices of Canadians here, but Canadians do not respect the Chinese system. This does not work well."
Peiwu argued that Canadians should take inspiration from previous generations on how to have diplomatic relations with China. "Older generations were aware of the differences between the two countries, who have different systems, but still they managed to make the bold decision that led to a sound stable relationship," Peiwu said.
"Fifty years on, this has led to huge progress in relations with tangible benefits for both Canada and China."