SAR govt: No for­eign in­ter­fer­ence al­lowed

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By CHINA DAILY in Hong Kong

A Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion Gov­ern­ment spokesman re­it­er­ated on Thurs­day that “for­eign leg­is­la­tures should not in­ter­fere in any form in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of the HKSAR”.

The spokesman made the re­marks in re­sponse to a re­port is­sued by the United States Con­gres­sional-Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mis­sion on China. The re­port claims Hong Kong has been los­ing its au­ton­omy and free­dom of speech in re­cent years.

The spokesman ex­pressed the gov­ern­ment’s “re­gret over the bi­ased con­clu­sions and un­founded ac­cu­sa­tions” made in the re­port about Hong Kong.

Since its re­turn to the moth­er­land, the HKSAR has been ex­er­cis­ing a high de­gree of au­ton­omy and “Hong Kong peo­ple ad­min­is­ter­ing Hong Kong” in strict ac­cor­dance with the Ba­sic Law - Hong Kong’s con­sti­tu­tional doc­u­ment. He said this demon­strates the full and suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple, which has been widely rec­og­nized by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

The Ba­sic Law clearly stip­u­lates that the HKSAR is an in­alien­able part of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China. “Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence” is a bla­tant vi­o­la­tion of the Ba­sic Law and a direct af­front to the na­tional sovereignty, se­cu­rity and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity.

Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence runs counter to the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple and un­der­mines the SAR’s con­sti­tu­tional and le­gal foun­da­tions as en­shrined in the Ba­sic Law, the spokesman added.

Mean­while, the spokesman said that the SAR gov­ern­ment at­taches great im­por­tance to free­dom of speech, which is also pro­tected by the Ba­sic Law.

How­ever, both the rel­e­vant in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights con­ven­tion and court cases clearly point out that free­dom of speech is not ab­so­lute. The SAR gov­ern­ment has also re­peat­edly stated that there is no room for dis­cussing Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence.

For other is­sues men­tioned in the re­port, in­clud­ing the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil by-elec­tion in March 2018, an elec­tion pe­ti­tion lodged against the re­sults of the 2016 LegCo gen­eral elec­tion, and the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment of the Guangzhou-Shen­zhen-Hong Kong Ex­press Rail Link, the SAR gov­ern­ment re­it­er­ates that it has all along been han­dling Hong Kong af­fairs strictly in ac­cor­dance with the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” prin­ci­ple, the Ba­sic Law and the laws of Hong Kong.

“There is no ques­tion of ‘po­lit­i­cal screen­ing’ as al­leged by the re­port,” the spokesman said.

The CECC re­port de­scribed the “con­tin­ued ero­sion” of Hong Kong’s au­ton­omy in re­cent years and called for the en­act­ment of laws re­quir­ing the US gov­ern­ment to re­view Hong Kong’s hu­man rights con­di­tions be­fore con­tin­u­ing to grant the city its spe­cial eco­nomic and trade sta­tus, con­ferred un­der the US-Hong Kong Pol­icy Act.

Luis Liu con­trib­uted to the story.

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