HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government on Sunday again lashed out at separatist Andy Chan Ho-tin for harming the city’s interests by urging the United States to expel both the SAR and the Chinese mainland from the World Trade Organization.
Chan Ho-tin's act is very foolish and unwise. He’s provoking conflict out of nowhere
Bernard Chan, Executive Council convener
Chan, convener of the Hong Kong National Party that advocates independence for Hong Kong, made the call in an open letter to US President Donald Trump after his speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club last week sparked widespread condemnation from various sectors in Hong Kong, as well as the central government.
The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said as a result of the unique status granted by the Basic Law -- the city’s constitutional document -- Hong Kong has become an international economic, trade and financial hub, and the achievement is “evident and hard-earned”.
It reiterated that any person or organization involved in hurting Hong Kong’s commercial, financial or overall interests should be condemned.
The bureau said Hong Kong has always abided by the WTO’s principle of opposing trade restrictions, and pledged to strengthen trade with the US, as the US is Hong Kong’s second-largest goods trading partner in the world.
Executive Council convener Bernard Chan also joined in the tirade against Andy Chan, calling the latter’s move “very foolish”.
He warned that the separatist, through his actions, is inviting foreign politicians to interfere in the SAR’s internal affairs.
“Chan Ho-tin's act is very foolish and unwise,” Bernard Chan said. “He’s provoking conflict out of nowhere.”
He expressed deep regret over Andy Chan’s moves, which will do no good to Hong Kong, but fuel social conflicts and damage the nation.
In his letter to Trump, Chan Ho-tin alleged that Hong Kong’s freedoms are “deteriorating”, and urged the US president to push for the WTO memberships of Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to be revoked.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has said that the SAR government’s stance against Chan and the FCC, which gave the dissident a platform to spread his ideas, has nothing to do with freedom of speech or the press, but is a reminder of the SAR’s constitutional responsibility to safeguard national security and territorial integrity.
The HKNP is an unregistered local political group that explicitly advocates independence for Hong Kong, and Andy Chan has said that violence is an option to achieve that goal if it’s effective to “make it heard”.
The party is facing a proposed government ban for possible breach of the Societies Ordinance.
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