On the 25th anniversary of the handover of the former British colony of Hong Kong to China, Boris Johnson tweeted: "25 years ago we made a promise to the people of Hong Kong. We are determined to keep it."
Johnson also criticised China in a video accompanying the tweet where he said "Beijing has been failing to comply with its obligations."
One of those being to respect the terms of the "One Country, Two Systems" arrangement agreed under the deal that ended British colonial rule back in 1997.
"It's a state of affairs that threatens both the rights and freedoms of Hong Kongers and the continued progress and prosperity of their home," he added.
But the comment appeared to ruffle the feathers of the Chinese Embassy in Ireland who fired back with a taunting tweet noting the UK also isn't up for respecting obligations either when it comes to Brexit.
The tweet read: “Two years ago we made a promise to the Northern Ireland Protocol. We are determined to break it.”
It also included a screenshot of Johnson's tweet (just to point out exactly what they were taking aim at).
\u201c"2 years ago we made a promise to the Northern Ireland Protocol.\n\nWe are determined to break it."\u201d
— Chinese Embassy in Ireland (@Chinese Embassy in Ireland)
For context, the Chinese embassy is referring to Johnson's attempt to ditch the Northern Ireland Protocol which his government signed back in 2019.
In response to the geo-political Twitter spat, some have noted it is a bad look for Johnson and the UK government.
Former Downing Street chief of staff to previous PM Theresa May, Gavin Barwell, tweeted:
“This is why going back on our word is such a bad idea: it doesn’t just damage our relations with our friends, it was always going to be quoted back at us when we accuse others of not honouring their commitments. Not too late to stop this act of self harm.”
\u201cThis is why going back on our word is such a bad idea: it doesn't just damage our relations with our friends, it was always going to be quoted back at us when we accuse others of not honouring their commitments. Not too late to stop this act of self harm\u201d
Volt UK - Britain's Rejoin Party also slammed the government too and tweeted: "Britain is being openly mocked by countries with awful human rights records. Sadly, this is how Britain is perceived globally due to Brexit.
"If we break international law, how do we have any right to criticise others who do the same?"
\u201cBritain is being openly mocked by countries with awful human rights records. Sadly, this is how Britain is perceived globally due to Brexit. If we break international law, how do we have any right to criticise others who do the same?\u201d
John Nicolson, the Scottish National Party MP for Ochil and South Perthshire described the move as "Utterly predictable".
"Despotic regimes around the world will now cite the UK’s lawbreaking and mock its pretensions."
\u201cUtterly predictable. Despotic regimes around the world will now cite the UK\u2019s lawbreaking and mock its pretensions.\u201d
— JOHN NICOLSON M.P. (@JOHN NICOLSON M.P.)
Elsewhere, Johnson has been warned by the Irish and German governments that there is "no legal or political justification" in his plan to override the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“Unfortunately, the British government chose not to engage in good faith with these proposals,” they wrote in a joint statement denouncing the UK, The Guardian reported.
“Instead of the path of partnership and dialogue, the British government has chosen unilateralism. There is no legal or political justification for unilaterally breaking an international agreement entered into only two years ago."
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