BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:45 P.M.) – The United Kingdom has warned China against taking a step that could set its course back and cannot be reversed with regard to Hong Kong, saying that Beijing should back down and fulfill its international obligations towards the former British colony.

“The ball is in the court of the Chinese government, and it has to decide its options,” Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Secretary, told parliament on Tuesday.

“They can cross a critical line and violate the autonomy and rights of Hong Kong residents, or they can step back and understand the concerns of the international community, and be responsible as a leading member of the international community,” he continued.

Raab added that the United Kingdom is not trying to interfere with Chinese affairs, pointing out that the U.K. “welcomes China as a leading member of the international community and look forward to working with it in all fields, from trade to climate change.”

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