Wolfson had been under increasing pressure to revoke her honorary fellowship, which recognises “persons of distinction whom the College holds in high standing” and was bestowed to Ms Lam in 2017 after she was elected chief executive of Hong Kong.
The UK government has said the national security law represents a serious violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, meant to guarantee the city’s unique liberties for at least 50 years after being returned from British to Beijing rule.
Chinese state media has said the UK cancelling training will push the Hong Kong police force closer to police units in mainland China.
The British Army and Royal Air Force previously ran limited drill instructor programs for the Hong Kong police, the city’s government flying service and its sea cadet corps.
In July, Washington also halted training for Hong Kong police administered by the US department of state. John Tse Chun-chung, a senior district commander who was previously the chief superintendent of the Hong Kong police public relations branch, was the face of the force while protests rocked the city last year. He had been expected to spend a year training in the UK starting in September, reported the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper.
While both Hong Kong and the UK cited pandemic risks, the breakdown in the longtime training partnership comes after Beijing imposed a contentious national security law in Hong Kong.
Amidst a deepening row between Britain and Beijing, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has returned an honorary fellowship to the University of Cambridge after Wolfson College raised concerns “about her commitment to the protection of human rights and the freedom of expression in Hong Kong”.
Ms Lam denied the “groundless” accusations and said she had written to Wolfson last year and last week to explain her administration’s stance regarding protests in Hong Kong.
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