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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today expressed strong opposition to the passage of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act by the US Congress.

In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government urged the US Congress to immediately stop interfering in the Hong Kong SAR’s internal matters, noting that the act and so-called ‘sanctions’ are totally unacceptable and will not deter the Hong Kong SAR Government but only harm the relations and common interests between Hong Kong and the US.

It said the passage of successive laws targeting the Hong Kong SAR, an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), by the US legislature under the pretext of human rights, democracy and autonomy is a blatant breach of obligations and respect between nations.

On national security legislation which is invariably the jurisdiction of the central government of any country, the US legislature has clearly displayed double standards which is deeply regretted.

The Hong Kong SAR government noted that for those who were still ignorant about the Hong Kong SAR’s constitutional order, they should be reminded that the Constitution of the PRC and the Basic Law form the constitutional basis of the Hong Kong SAR.

No other state or legislature has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, in those internal affairs.

“Since the return to the motherland, the Hong Kong SAR 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.

“The central government has given the ‘one country, two systems’ principle unswerving support and acted in strict accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law.

“Some members of the US Congress claimed that the passage of the act was in response to the enactment of the national security law in Hong Kong. This is totally misguided.

“National security is a matter that falls under the purview of the central authorities and the national security law enacted on June 30 by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee is a national law which by virtue of relevant provisions in Article 18 of the Basic Law shall be applied in the Hong Kong SAR.”

The statement also noted that in view of the increasingly pronounced national security risks faced by the Hong Kong SAR, especially since the escalating violence and social chaos last June, close to three million Hong Kong people took part in a signature campaign over eight days to show their support for the enactment of national security legislation by the central authorities, which was considered timely, reasonable and rational.

“The national security law seeks to prevent, suppress and impose punishment for four types of acts and activities that seriously endanger national security. It targets an extremely small minority of people without adversely affecting the basic rights and freedoms legitimately enjoyed by Hong Kong people.

“It is an important step to improve the ‘one country, two systems’ institutional system and represents an essential and timely decision for restoring stability in Hong Kong. The law will not affect the high degree of autonomy, judicial independence and the rule of law in Hong Kong.”

The Hong Kong SAR Government reiterated that any sanctions imposed under the act will not create an obligation for financial institutions under Hong Kong law and urged the US side to act responsibly by refraining from taking measures that may potentially affect the normal operations of financial institutions and the vast number of customers they serve.

Countermeasures may also be adopted by the central government as well as the Hong Kong SAR Government as and when needed, the statement added.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News