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China should adhere to international law over Hong Kong citizenship route - UK PM's spokesman

LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) - Britain expects China to adhere to international law, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday when asked what London could do if Beijing prevents those in Hong Kong with British National Overseas (BNO) status from leaving.

Britain has offered a path to citizenship for around 3 million people in Hong Kong, its former colony, after declaring that China had broken the terms of a 1984 handover treaty by imposing a new security law this week.

“We have already set out what we will be providing for BNOs ... We would expect China to understand the importance of adhering to international law,” the spokesman told reporters.

He also reiterated why Britain had taken the steps it had.

“... the enactment and imposition of the national security law constitutes a clear and serious breach of the ... joint declaration ... It violates Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.” (Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison)