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Global Times

Western politicians care about 'freedom' to undermine China's security rather than freedom of HK residents: FM spokesperson

Global Times Published: 2020/6/9 4:57:20

The strong reactions from US politicians on the National Security law in Hong Kong had nothing to do with providing Hong Kong residents with freedom. What they care about is the "freedom" to do everything they want to sabotage China's national security, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Monday at a daily press conference.

China's National People's Congress (NPC) passed a decision to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress following the decision that the move undermined Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms and violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Pompeo referred to Hong Kong as a "bastion of liberty" that the US hoped "would provide a model for authoritarian China."

It remains unknown if these politicians had ever bothered to read the Sino-British Joint Declaration before making their remarks, and if they're even familiar with a few clauses from the declaration, Hua speculated.

The Sino-British Joint Declaration is a vital document concerning Hong Kong's return to China and relevant arrangements during the transition period. The declaration consists of eight clauses and three accessories.

The first clause regulates that China resumes sovereignty over the Hong Kong region; the second clause calls for the UK to restore Hong Kong to China. Both clauses were fulfilled after the handover, Hua said.

The third clause and the first accessory serve as an explanation of China's principles and policies for Hong Kong. The fourth and sixth clauses, and the second and third accessories are arrangements of both sides during transitional period. The seventh and eighth clauses are about the Joint Declaration's implementation and entry into force, Hua said.

The content related to the UK was fulfilled after the handover. The legal basis for implementing "one country, two systems", including for the Hong Kong-related national security legislation, is China's Constitution and the Basic Law, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hua stressed.

Pompeo said China undermines Hong Kong freedom, but does he know if the UK ever gave Hong Kong democracy and freedom when it colonized the city for 156 years? Were any of the 28 British governors of Hong Kong elected by local residents? Did the Hong Kong residents then enjoy the freedom to take to the street for demonstration? Hua asked.

Hua also noted that during British colonial rule, the British Treason Act was applied to HK.

This time, the national security law only targets four crimes - secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and foreign intervention, and does not affect the rights and freedoms of HK residents, but rather protects their rights, Hua noted.

Hua noted that in eight days after the announcement of the decision, nearly 3 million Hong Kong residents co-signed a statement supporting the law. Foreign companies like HSBC, Jardine Matheson Group, Swire Group, and Standard Chartered Bank have since voiced their support.

According to one poll, over 61 percent of companies in Hong Kong said the national security law would benefit their business in the long run. Moreover, the Hang Seng Index has increased for five consecutive days.

These serve as indicators demonstrating trust in the national security law and the 'one country, two systems' principle.

Amid strong reactions from US politicians, Hua said it was because what they really care about is not freedom for Hong Kong, but freedom for themselves to undermine China's national security. Pompeo's reference to Hong Kong as a bastion of liberty for the US to affect China revealed his true thoughts.

Hua reiterated that the national security law is in accordance with China's Constitution and Hong Kong's Basic Law. It is aimed to fill security loopholes in the city. Residents won't have anything to worry about, nor will they need to overreact to the law if they don't have any intention to conduct separatist, subversive, and terrorist activities or undermine China's national security.

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