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Global Times

China urges US to withdraw decision to impose visa restrictions over Hong Kong

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/27 9:09:04

China on Saturday expressed strong opposition to the US' wrongful decision to impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong-related issues, and vowed to continue taking strong measures to uphold national security.

A spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the US said in a statement on Saturday that China urges the US side to immediately correct its mistakes, withdraw the decision and stop interfering in China's domestic affairs. The Chinese side will continue to take strong measures to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday visa restrictions on current and former Chinese officials who "were responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong's freedoms." His announcement came just a day after the US Senate passed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which calls for mandatory sanctions against any individuals responsible for "undermining Hong Kong's autonomy."

The embassy spokesperson said legislating on national security is a power and obligation of the central government, and also an international practice, and that Hong Kong affairs are China's domestic affairs and allow no external interference.

The legal basis for the Chinese government to govern Hong Kong is China's Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), not the Sino-British Joint Declaration. No one has any legal grounds or right to make irresponsible comments on Hong Kong affairs citing the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the spokesperson said.

In response to the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, the HKSAR government on Friday night expressed strong opposition to its passage.

"We urge the US Congress to immediately stop interfering in HKSAR's internal matters. The Act and the so-called 'sanctions' are totally unacceptable and will only harm the relations and common interests between Hong Kong and the US," read the Hong Kong government's statement.

The implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in the HKSAR falls entirely under the umbrella of the internal affairs of China. No other state or legislature has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, in those internal affairs.

Many of the Congress' comments on HKSAR affairs in the Act are seriously misleading and absolutely unfounded, the Hong Kong government said.

"Any 'sanctions' imposed under the Act will not create an obligation for financial institutions under Hong Kong law. We, however, urge the US side to act responsibly by refraining from taking measures that may potentially affect the normal operations of financial institutions and the vast number of customers they serve," the Hong Kong government said.

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