HONG KONG - The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday expressed its strong opposition to the signing into law in the United States (US) of the so-called "Hong Kong Autonomy Act" and to the series of measures to be adopted by the US under its president's executive order.
The HKSAR government vowed to fully support the central government to adopt countermeasures.
As mentioned in the statement of the foreign ministry of China, the US move seriously violates international law and the basic norms underpinning international relations and constitutes gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs, a spokesman of the HKSAR government said.
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He said the HKSAR government expressed deep regret over the US move.
"It is hypocritical for the US to introduce measures to attack China by creating issues in the HKSAR under the pretext of human rights, democracy and autonomy out of its own political considerations,” the spokesman said.
“It is egregious for the US to undermine the relationship between the HKSAR and the Central Authority under 'One Country, Two Systems' and to cover its abhorrent acts by the political slogan of 'supporting Hong Kong people',” he added.
The spokesman said this move violated international law, and will definitely harm the relations and common interests between China and the US, and that of Hong Kong and the US, causing tremendous damage to US companies and its people.
The spokesman said the US should be clear about the fact that the HKSAR is an inalienable part of China and a local administrative region which enjoys a high degree of autonomy and comes directly under the central government
"The US has clearly demonstrated its double standards by rationalising the measures to be adopted under the Act and the executive order on ground of safeguarding its national security, while claiming that the enactment of national security legislation by the Central Authority for the HKSAR is undermining the HKSAR's high degree of autonomy,” the spokesman said.
“It is the legitimate right and duty of every state to safeguard its national security. Matters concerning the national security of any local region fall squarely within the purview of the central authorities,” he said.
“For any state, be it adopting a unitary or federal system, legislation on national security is invariably carried out by the central authorities rather than local government. There are at least 20 pieces of legislation that safeguard national security in the US, and the law enforcement agencies are all authorities at the federal level,” he added.
The spokesman said the US should be clear about the fact that the HKSAR is an inalienable part of China and a local administrative region which enjoys a high degree of autonomy and comes directly under the central government.
The National People's Congress has the constitutional power and duty to enact national law to safeguard national security in the HKSAR, namely the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR, adopted on June 30, and to apply it to Hong Kong by promulgation in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law, the spokesman said.
Since the return to the motherland, Hong Kong has been implementing the "one country, two systems" principle, "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy in strict accordance with the Basic Law, and the central government has firmly implemented the "one country, two systems" principle and acted in strict accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, the spokesman said.
In view of the increasingly pronounced national security risks faced by the HKSAR, especially in light of the escalating violence and social chaos since June last year, the enactment of the national security law in Hong Kong is a timely, reasonable and rational decision, the spokesman said.
The law targets only an extremely small minority of people without adversely affecting the basic rights and freedoms lawfully enjoyed by Hong Kong residents, the spokesman said.
It is a necessary, timely and important step to improve "one country, two systems," the spokesman said.
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During the legislative process, HKSAR's practical situation was taken into account and the views of the HKSAR government and of various sectors of the community were adopted, the spokesman said.
The US has enjoyed huge benefit from its economic and trade exchanges with Hong Kong, with a cumulative merchandise trade surplus of around US$310 billion during the 2010-2019 period, and the merchandise surplus in 2019 alone was over US$26 billion, the spokesman said
The law will not affect the high degree of autonomy, judicial independence and the rule of law in Hong Kong, the spokesman said, stressing that only when national security is safeguarded can Hong Kong enjoy long-term stability and security.
The special status as a separate customs territory enjoyed by the HKSAR under "one country, two systems" is conferred by the Constitution and the Basic Law and is recognized by multilateral organizations such as the World Trade Organization, but not granted or revocable by an individual country, the spokesman said.
On the other hand, the US has enjoyed huge benefit from its economic and trade exchanges with Hong Kong, with a cumulative merchandise trade surplus of around US$310 billion during the 2010-2019 period, and the merchandise surplus in 2019 alone was over US$26 billion, the spokesman said.
At present, there are 1,300 US companies operating in Hong Kong and 85,000 US citizens call Hong Kong their home, he added.
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It would be a self-deception if the US thinks that unilaterally introducing various measures that restrict normal business activities or people exchanges would not affect its own interests, the spokesman said.
The HKSAR government will carefully consider if the US measures contravene WTO rules, and does not rule out the possibility of taking action under WTO rules to protect Hong Kong's interests, the spokesman said.
The spokesman reiterated that any measures imposed under the act and the executive order do not have any legal effect on Hong Kong financial institutions.
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