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Global Times

HK govt refutes 'appalling' joint statement by Australia, US, UK, Canada

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Jan 10, 2021 06:02 PM

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Sunday refuted the joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, UK and US over the arrested Hong Kong anti-government figures, saying it is "appalling" to see some foreign government officials make comments that seemingly suggest people holding certain political beliefs should be immune to legal sanctions.

The HKSAR government said in a statement published Sunday that the arrests of the anti-government people on charges of subversion were made on the basis of evidence and in strict accordance with relevant laws and regulations, and anyone who breaks the law should be punished regardless of their political backgrounds.

It also rejected the four countries' accusation that the National Security Law for Hong Kong undermines the "one country, two systems" principle, saying that on the contrary, the law fully and accurately implements the principle, and shows a high degree of autonomy within the island.

The four countries' foreign ministers made the joint statement on Saturday to express their concerns over the arrest of more than 50 anti-government figures. It claimed that the National Security Law is being used to "eliminate dissent and opposing political views."

The SAR government said the law, along with any other law in the region, applies equally to all people in Hong Kong and no one can stand above it.

"The HKSAR government is appalled by remarks made by some overseas government officials that seemed to suggest that people with certain political beliefs should be immune to legal sanctions," it said in the statement.

The Hong Kong Police Force confirmed on Wednesday that it had arrested 53 people on charges of subversion, adding that the operation was still underway and it is possible that more people will be arrested.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, the central government's liaison office in the HKSAR and central government's office for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong all voiced support for the operation.

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