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Global Times

China protests Hunt's HK comments, calls him immersed in 'colonial illusion'

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/3 22:48:40

China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday lodged strong discontent and opposition to the UK over Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's remarks about Hong Kong and said he is still immersed in a "colonial illusion."

China has lodged stern representations with the UK, and urges the UK side especially Hunt to stop being overconfident and wantonly interfering with Hong Kong affairs. This is doomed to fail, Geng Shuang, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a routine press conference on Wednesday.

Hunt claimed that the Sino-British Joint Declaration remains valid today. "We can make it clear we stand behind the people of Hong Kong in defense of the freedoms that we negotiated for them when we agreed to the handover in 1997," Reuters quoted Hunt as saying.

In response, Geng said that as Hong Kong had returned to the motherland, the rights and obligations of the British side under the Joint Declaration had been completely fulfilled. On July 1, 1997, China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the Chinese government started administering it in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law.

The UK has no sovereignty, governance or power of supervision over Hong Kong, and there is no "responsibility" at all, Geng said.

"The UK side often acts as a 'guardian' to Hong Kong, which is purely flattering itself and wishful thinking," Geng said.

It is shameless to make such claims as that the so-called freedom of Hong Kong residents was won by the British side.

"I would like to ask Mr Hunt: Was there any democracy in Hong Kong during the British colonial rule? Hong Kong people had no rights to go on the streets to demonstrate at that time," Geng said.

The Chinese government, in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, has implemented "one country, two systems," allowing a high degree of autonomy to ensure that Hong Kong residents enjoy unprecedented democratic rights and freedoms.

Hunt distorted that fact and claimed that the Hong Kong government had "repressed" the protest. He has completely confounded black and white as the radical protesters had acted illegally in storming into the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong and had trampled on the rule of law and undermined social order.

"If the UK parliament is surrounded and damaged, would the British government turn a blind eye and do nothing? If that is the democracy described by Mr Hunt, does he think police should be withdrawn to allow protesters to enter the UK parliament? Does he believe that what the UK police did in dealing with London riots in August 2011 was suppression?" Geng asked.

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