New Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta brushed off a threat from China today to New Zealand and four other nations that they should "beware of their eyes being poked and blinded".
The statement criticized the disqualification of the four elected members of Hong Kong's legislature based on Beijing's new rules apparently meant to curb dissent.
They urged Beijing to reverse course.
"The Chinese never make trouble and are never afraid of anything", Zhao Lijian told journalists in Beijing on Thursday, saying it did not "matter if they had five or 10 eyes".
Zhao's remarks came in response to the alliance's Wednesday rebuke on the dismissal of four "pro-democracy" lawmakers from the Hong Kong legislature that saw over a dozen "pro-democracy" officials resign in protest from the body.
The Commissioner's Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry has voiced strong opposition to the claims and denied curbing rights and freedoms in Hong Kong. Most recently, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated that Beijing's stance toward opposition lawmakers was "part of a pattern apparently created to harass and stifle all voices critical of China's policies".
The statement called the imposition of the National Security Law and the postponement of Legislative Council elections a "clear breach of its worldwide obligations" and a decision that "further undermines Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms". That freedom has largely vanished in recent months with the passage of a "national security" law in Beijing's National People's Congress allowing Chinese authorities to prosecute Hong Kong dissidents and extradite them to China.
Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing alliance of the five Anglophone countries set up during the Cold War and initially developed to monitor the USSR and its allies.
It also said the NPC Standing Committee's stands by its decision is to defend "One Country, Two Systems" and better implement the principles of "the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy.
"If we have a mature relationship with any country, we can respect each other's differences without cutting across some fundamental rights and freedoms that should be held".
But in late June China passed a controversial, far-reaching national security law in the territory after years of pro-democracy and anti-Beijing protests, which reduced Hong Kong's autonomy and made it easier to punish demonstrators.
Beijing's actions in Hong Kong have received widespread criticism from global community.
Around 300,000 people now hold BNO passports, while an estimated 2.9 million people born before the handover are eligible for one.