People cross a road decorated with national flags and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region flags above to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland in Tsim Sha Tsui on June 17, 2022. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Tuesday said comments made by US Consul General to Hong Kong regarding the National Security Law are unfair criticisms and completely untrue.
The Commissioner’s Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR also strongly disapproved and condemned the so-called “farewell remarks” of Hanscom Smith, saying that he “slandered the Chinese central government’s policies towards Hong Kong and vilified the successful practice of ‘one country, two systems’”.
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Their remarks came after Smith, the top US diplomat in Hong Kong and Macao, delivered a statement to the American Chamber of Commerce on Monday that claimed Hong Kong has experienced an “erosion of autonomy, decline of democracy, and oppression of human rights”.
Pointing out that Article 4 of the Hong Kong National Security Law clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the SAR, an HKSAR government spokesperson said many rights and freedoms recognised in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) are not absolute, and may be restricted for reasons of national security and/or public order (ordre public), etc.
The development of democracy in the HKSAR must be consistent with its constitutional order under the Constitution and the Basic Law and the 'one country, two systems' principle, as well as with the political, economic, social, cultural and historical circumstances of the HKSAR.
Spokesman, HKSAR Govt
"What the Hong Kong National Security Law seeks to prevent, suppress and punish are distinctly different from normal interactions. Law-abiding people will not unwittingly violate the law,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The spokesman stressed that Smith’s remarks on the Chief Executive Election held after the HKSAR's electoral system had been improved “were made arbitrarily, oblivious of the fact that democracy has taken a quantum leap forward in the HKSAR since its return to the motherland in July 1997”.
The sixth-term Chief Executive Election carried an important meaning to Hong Kong for implementing 'patriots administering Hong Kong', the spokesman said, adding that keeping political power in the hands of patriots is a political rule commonly practised in the world.
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“The development of democracy in the HKSAR must be consistent with its constitutional order under the Constitution and the Basic Law and the 'one country, two systems' principle, as well as with the political, economic, social, cultural and historical circumstances of the HKSAR.”
‘US ill intentions laid bare’
With the implementation of the National Security Law and the successful practice of the new electoral system in the SAR, China’s national security has been safeguarded, Hong Kong society has become more stable and united, and the rule of law and justice in the city have been fully upheld, a spokesperson of the commissioner’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.
Hong Kong cannot afford chaos and no time should be lost for Hong Kong’s development, added the spokesperson.
“However, a few US politicians go against the historical trend and exploit every opportunity to interfere with the development of China, including the development of Hong Kong.”
America’s ill intentions have been laid bare, its tricks seen through, and its hypocrisy mask torn off.
Commissioner’s Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR
Referring to Smith’s claims that “America’s policy on Hong Kong has been consistent for decades”, the spokesperson said: “The fact is the US has been consistent in confusing black and white, slandering Hong Kong, trying best to infiltrate and subvert Hong Kong, and sanctioning those who act against the will of the US.”
On one hand, the US said it cares about Hong Kong”, but on the other, it intimidates foreign investors in Hong Kong with a “business advisory”, according to the statement.
“America’s intention to disrupt Hong Kong and use Hong Kong to curb China has been exposed and despised by the world. Hanscom Smith’s ‘farewell remarks’ are exactly a symbol of the complete bankruptcy of the US strategy of ‘using Hong Kong to contain China’”.
The spokesperson pointed out that the so-called “erosion of autonomy, decline of democracy, and oppression of human rights” are only America’s ideological paranoia.
“Ignoring the repeated objection of the Chinese side and the aspiration of Hong Kong society, the US insisted on talking down Hong Kong’s prospects. It harbors the ulterior motive of the US to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and strangle China’s growth,” reads the statement.
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Reiterating that Hong Kong is in a new stage of moving from chaos to stability and then to greater prosperity, the spokesperson said China’s determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests is rock solid, and its resolve to oppose external forces interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs is unwavering.
“America’s ill intentions have been laid bare, its tricks seen through, and its hypocrisy mask torn off. Hanscom Smith’s deceiving plot has failed and his show no longer has audience.”
HONG KONG NEWS