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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that China’s latest legislation “must be opposed immediately” by the United States and its allies, saying Beijing’s actions “have gone far beyond the bounds of what is acceptable.”
Guterres’s comments came as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and said Britain would raise concerns with the United Nations over China’s crackdown on its domestic dissidents.
The United States, Britain and other countries have voiced concerns that Beijing’s legislation, which China has called “counterproductive” and “a violation of international law,” could damage ties between the two nations.
The U.n. chief also warned that China would not hesitate to use “all possible measures” to “break” international law and undermine the international order.
China’s law, dubbed “one China” by some Western countries, restricts cross-strait trade and has provoked a series of lawsuits and international boycotts, including from major U.s. companies like Nike and General Motors.
The measures also could be used to prevent foreign investment.
China has said it will not allow a legal challenge, but critics say the measures have no legal basis and that Beijing is pursuing a legal case.
The China Daily newspaper on Wednesday reported that Guterre said the United Kingdom had already raised “serious concerns” about the legislation, according to a translation by Reuters.
China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Guterre was speaking after Cameron visited Beijing, where he also condemned China’s anti-sedition legislation, but said he would hold off on any final decisions until a “serious debate” could be held on the legislation.
The issue has become a political hot potato in the United Arab Emirates, which is embroiled in a bitter territorial dispute with Saudi Arabia over oil and gas reserves.