Published: 17:04, June 15, 2024 | Updated: 17:11, June 15, 2024
HKSAR govt rejects smearing comments by western countries
By Wang Zhan in Hong Kong
This April 1, 2022 photo shows the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has strongly rejected smearing comments by the United States and some other western countries regarding the specification of absconders and measures taken against them by the city’s security chief in line with the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance.

“The legal framework in safeguarding national security in the HKSAR is fully in compliance with the international standard for the protection of human rights,” a government spokesman said in a statement on Friday night.

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Individuals endangering national security often abscond overseas to evade criminal liability, and continue to endanger national security through various means, said the spokesman.

People with ulterior motives in the United States and some western countries deliberately smeared and spread irresponsible remarks in an attempt to mislead the public.

Spokesman, HKSAR Govt

The specified measures aim at addressing, combating, deterring, and preventing acts of abscondment, and procuring the return of absconded persons to Hong Kong to face law enforcement and judicial proceedings, the statement explained.

“People with ulterior motives in the United States and some western countries deliberately smeared and spread irresponsible remarks in an attempt to mislead the public,” the spokesman said, adding that the HKSAR government strongly disapproves of such acts.

Stressing that absconders should not think they can evade criminal liability by absconding from the SAR, the spokesman said: “Ultimately, they will be liable for their acts constituting serious offenses endangering national security and be sanctioned by the law.”

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The measures under section 96 of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance seek to regard an absconder’s HKSAR passport as being canceled and the application for an HKSAR passport by the absconder as being invalid, the statement pointed out.

All specified measures align with human rights requirements and quite a number of countries, including the US, the United Kingdom, and Canada, would also impose such measures on wanted criminals, it added.

“It is indeed a demonstration of hypocrisy with double standards by any external forces or people with ulterior motives that, after the HKSAR government has announced the relevant measures, attack the HKSAR in safeguarding national security dutifully, faithfully and in accordance with the law.”

The Constitution of the country and the Basic Law of the HKSAR steadfastly safeguard the rights and freedoms enjoyed by people in Hong Kong, it pointed out.

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“Any attempt by foreign countries or external forces to undermine Hong Kong's situation will only expose their own weakness and faulty arguments and be doomed to fail,” the spokesman said, stressing the SAR government’s resolve to continue to unwaveringly discharge its duty in safeguarding national security.