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International relations

Hong Kong activist Nathan Law says he has arrived in London

UK and China are in a spat over the territory and use of Huawei technology

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law, center, is flanked by Joshua Wong, left, and Sunny Cheung during a press conference outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on June 3.   © AP

TOKYO -- Nathan Law Kwun-chung, a pro-democracy activist who left Hong Kong after its new national security law was enacted, said Monday he had arrived in London.

"With my backpack and small luggage in hand, I boarded my night flight. I had no idea what future awaited me. Only one thing seemed certain. My destination: London," Law wrote on Twitter.

Law's statement comes as the U.K. and China are embroiled in a vicious spat over issues ranging from Hong Kong to Britain's use of Huawei technology in its planned 5G network. The government in London is expected to announce Tuesday that it will further restrict the inclusion of the tech giant's equipment in the network.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on July 1 that up to 3 million Hong Kongers will be offered the chance to settle in Britain and ultimately apply for citizenship. Johnson said the new security law was a violation of Hong Kong's freedoms and a "clear and serious breach" of the 1985 Sino-British joint declaration ahead of the 1997 handover of the former British colony.

Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the U.K., responded by saying Johnson's offer amounted to "gross interference."

Law said on July 2 that he had fled Hong Kong because of the new legislation, which provides criminal penalties of up to life imprisonment for separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

That announcement, on social media, came hours after Law testified online to a U.S. congressional hearing on the security law. He did not reveal his whereabouts.

He is the first high-profile activist to leave since the law was enacted.

"Just before touching touch [sic] some 12 hours later, I saw buildings of varying heights beneath a cloudless sky. In this strange land, I began planning for the life ahead of me. There remains so many uncertainties," Law wrote on Monday. "My biggest wish is peace to Hong Kongers. We will keep our city and spirit alive."

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