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Global Times

HK govt firmly rejects the UK's six-monthly report on HK, calling it inaccurate and biased

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/12 11:21:55

Hong Kong's government on Friday expressed their opposition to a six-monthly report on the city issued by the UK, saying the report was both inaccurate and biased, and suggesting that foreign governments, legislatures, and politicians should refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

The HKSAR government reiterated its firm commitment to the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in accordance with Basic Law. The region firmly opposes and expresses its deep regret over the report's inaccurate and biased remarks regarding the newly formed national security law and degree of autonomy enjoyed by its citizens in the HKSAR, the Hong Kong government said in a statement published on Friday.

The UK released its six-monthly report covering incidents in Hong Kong from July to December last year on Thursday, and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged China to reconsider its plan to impose its national security law, and to "step back from the brink" and respect the city's autonomy in the report.

The national security law will neither undermine "one country, two systems" nor change the executive, legislative, and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication, enjoyed by the HKSAR, the Hong Kong government said.

Instead, the national security law will create favorable conditions for strengthening the foundation of the successful implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle, and ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

In fact, it is absolutely incorrect and totally groundless for the report to allege that the enactment of the national security law for the HKSAR lies in "direct conflict" with Article 23 of the Basic Law. In accordance with Article 23, the HKSAR is authorized to legislate its own national security laws; however, it also does not prohibit the central government from legislating at a state level for national security reasons, the HKSAR government said.

The statement said that allegations which suggest the law will undermine Hong Kong citizen's freedoms and the "one country, two systems" principle is no more than alarmist speculation and simply fallacious.

Foreign governments, legislatures, and politicians should not interfere in any way in the internal affairs of the HKSAR, the Hong Kong government said.

Britain has pledged to offer British National Overseas (BNO) passport-holders in Hong Kong a path to British citizenship after China's National People's Congress passed the decision for the national security law in Hong Kong.

However, more Hong Kong residents are realizing that their BNO passports do not make them equal to UK nationals; that is, those who hold HKSAR passports are entitled to consular protection by the Chinese government while overseas, which would be much more beneficial when travelling, according to several Hong Kong residents who spoke with the Global Times.

As HKSAR passports have become more popular, the number of BNO holders have also declined in recent years, according to media reports.

In 2006, the number of BNO passports issued dropped to 30,000, and then to 7,600 in 2011. The total number of BNO holders in Hong Kong dropped from 800,000 in 2007 to 140,000 in 2015, the reports showed.

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