WASHINGTON: Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven major powers released a statement on Wednesday expressing "grave concern" regarding China's decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong.
The statement, which called on China to rescind the decision, is likely to provoke a backlash from the country.
The G-7 foreign ministers said that the decision goes against the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
"The proposed national security law would risk seriously undermining the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle and the territory's high degree of autonomy," the statement said. "It would jeopardize the system which has allowed Hong Kong to flourish and made it a success over many years.”
The ministers were also concerned that the proposed law would "curtail and threaten the fundamental rights and freedoms of all the population protected by the rule of law and the existence of an independent justice system." They closed the statement by saying, "We strongly urge the government of China to reconsider this decision.”
After the Chinese government decided to impose the law on Hong Kong, the United States announced that it will begin procedures to strip the semiautonomous territory of its special status regarding trade tariffs and visas.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last week that he was aiming to lead the G-7 to issuing a joint statement on Hong Kong. China protested to Japan over the prime minister's remark.
The G-7 groups consist Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union.