Published: 10:27, May 14, 2024 | Updated: 10:47, May 14, 2024
HKSAR govt calls for fair handling of UK case
By Wang Zhan
This Aug 8, 2017 photo shows the Central Government Offices in Tamar, Hong Kong. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong government has demanded the UK government to “fairly handle the matter” after the British police announced that three men had been charged for allegedly assisting Hong Kong's foreign intelligence service.

“The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has demanded the UK government to provide full details of relevant information of the alleged matter concerned, and the latter's response is awaited,” the SAR government said in a statement issued Monday night.

READ MORE: Ministry says UK used foreign national to spy on China

The SAR government seriously demanded that the UK side fairly handle the matter, effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office's office manager who was alleged to be involved, and ensure that the ETO’s normal work is not affected.

The UK side must not go further down the wrong path of jeopardizing China-UK relations.

Chinese embassy in the UK

“The duties of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London are to maintain close liaison with interlocutors in the local government, business, think tanks and various sectors, with a view to enriching bilateral ties in different areas such as trade, investment, arts and culture, enhancing local people and enterprises' knowledge of Hong Kong's unique strengths, and promoting the economic and trade interests of Hong Kong,” reads the statement.

Separately, the Chinese embassy in the UK strongly condemned the UK's malicious fabrication and unwarranted accusation against the HKSAR government.

China firmly rejects and strongly condemns Britain's fabrication of the so-called case and its unwarranted accusation against the SAR government, and has made serious representations to the UK side on the matter, the embassy said in a statement on Monday.

For some time now, the UK has staged a series of accusations against China, including those on "China spies" and cyberattacks, said the statement, it said, adding: "All those accusations are groundless and slanderous.”

The British side has also wantonly harassed, arrested, and detained Chinese citizens in the UK under the pretext of judicial and national security and this constitutes a grave provocation against China and severely contravenes the basic norms governing international relations, it said.

"It must be stressed that Hong Kong has long returned to China. Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong. The UK has no right and is in no position to point fingers at and meddle in Hong Kong affairs.”

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Stressing that the Chinese government remains firmly resolved in fighting anti-China elements seeking to disrupt Hong Kong and in upholding the stability and prosperity of the region, the embassy said the UK's harboring of wanted criminals tramples on the rule of law and leads nowhere.

"We urge the UK side to immediately correct its wrongdoing, stop spreading the so-called 'China threat theory,' end all forms of political manipulation against China, and ensure all the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the UK," it said.

Any political trick to divert public attention and cover up its own serious problems by smearing China is doomed to failure, and any move to interfere in China's internal affairs and undermine China's interests will be met with a firm response, said the statement.

"The UK side must not go further down the wrong path of jeopardizing China-UK relations," it added.