The U.K. previously accused the Beijing government of a serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration under which Hong Kong was returned to China and announced it would open a special route to citizenship for up to 3 million eligible residents of the territory.
Praising Britain's response to China's controversial new national security law for Hong Kong during a visit to the UK, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Beijing's tightening grip on the semi-autonomous city.
The official said the U.S. hopes to see all countries that "understand freedom and democracy" to grasp the alleged "threat" that the Chinese Communist Party poses to them and to work to restore "what is rightfully ours", without elaborating on the last part.
Relations between the US and China have been increasingly tense since the outbreak of the coronavirus, which President Trump refers to as the "Chinese virus".
As a result, he said, the government would suspend the extradition treaty and extend an arms embargo to Hong Kong that has applied to mainland China since 1989, when troops killed hundreds of protesters as they quashed a student-led democracy movement in Beijing.
"Or you say let's work with China".
"There is a balance here, " Johnson said.
Beijing says the West - and Washington in particular - is gripped by anti-Chinese hysteria and colonial thinking about the communist state.
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He was scheduled later to meet with Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, and Nathan Law, a pro-democracy politician from Hong Kong.
"The UK made this important decision to protect its national security interests, just as countries around the world are doing".
Speaking specifically about China, the UK Prime Minister also said his government had "concerns about the treatment of the Uyghur minority obviously, about the human rights abuses", promising a "tough" yet balanced approach towards the world's second largest economy, without abandoning the UK's "policy of engagement".
China's detention of several Hong Kong booksellers in late 2015 had already focused concern on the undermining of the legal autonomy the territory was promised when the former British colony was handed back to China in 1997.
Mr Pompeo said the meeting with business figures would assist the two countries in getting to the "right place, which is reducing trade barriers" while also providing jobs and wealth on both sides of the Atlantic.
Taiwan's China policy Mainland Affairs Council declined to confirm the visa rejections, but said Taiwan needed to react accordingly to "defend the nation's dignity" based on equal and bilateral considerations, following "unreasonable limitations" set by the Hong Kong authorities.
The move is likely to further strain relations between the United Kingdom and China after a string of trade, security and diplomatic disputes.
It was a frosty affair that saw Pompeo accuse Britain of endangering Western intelligence-sharing by putting China at the heart of its next-generation data system.
UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab told the House of Commons on Monday: "The imposition of this new security legislation has significantly changed key assumptions underpinning our extradition treaty arrangements with Hong Kong".