Source: Hong Kong Information Services
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly opposed the US Secretary of State’s report under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.
It noted that the US has been increasingly blatant in its interference in Hong Kong’s affairs in recent months, including passing successive laws, pronouncing an executive order and imposing sanctions against the Hong Kong SAR Government officials under the pretext of human rights, democracy and autonomy.
It strongly reprimanded the US authorities for publishing a report that contains totally groundless and irresponsible accusations against the Hong Kong SAR.
The Hong Kong SAR Government disagreed with the comments in the report that smear and demonise the National Security Law, reiterating that the enactment of this law is both timely and necessary to uphold the principle of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong.
It pointed out that contrary to the report’s claims that Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and freedoms have been undermined, since the implementation of the National Security Law, stability has been restored to society.
It added that national security has been safeguarded in the city and its people can continue to enjoy their basic rights and freedoms in accordance with the law. This is a fact that the US authorities should not turn a blind eye to.
The Hong Kong SAR Government also dismissed groundless comments in the report that question law enforcement by Hong Kong authorities.
It said Hong Kong is governed by the rule of law and law enforcement agencies are duty-bound to take action against unlawful acts.
Any person who is arrested has the right to a fair trial by independent courts and the burden is on the prosecution to prove that the accused committed a crime beyond reasonable doubt before there can be a conviction.
Regarding the US’ threat to impose sanctions on financial institutions and Hong Kong SAR Government officials, the Hong Kong SAR Government said it is another example of US hegemony.
It noted that the US’ sanctions will not create an obligation for financial institutions under Hong Kong law.
Hong Kong’s financial institutions and financial system as a whole are robust and resilient. They will continue to operate normally and smoothly despite any undue pressure from the US.
The Hong Kong SAR Government urged the US to act responsibly by refraining from taking measures that may undermine the interests of the international financial system.
It reiterated that the Chief Executive and other officials who are being targeted by the US have made it clear that they will not be intimidated. They will continue to discharge the duty to safeguard national security in Hong Kong in accordance with the law without fear or anxiety.
The Hong Kong SAR Government will fully support and facilitate any countermeasure taken by our nation against the US and will also defend Hong Kong’s interests against the US’ unilateral actions through various means.
The Hong Kong SAR Government formally took issue in September with the US Government over the latter’s new requirement in respect of the origin marking of Hong Kong products.
If the US refuses to withdraw the requirement and bilateral discussions fail to reach satisfactory outcomes, the Hong Kong SAR Government will take action against the US in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Mechanism.
In this connection, the Hong Kong SAR’s permanent representative to the WTO made clear Hong Kong’s position at a meeting of the General Council of the WTO on October 13.
In response to media enquiries about the US Secretary of State’s recent remarks about the 12 Hong Kong residents who were arrested in the Mainland, the Hong Kong SAR Government said that the secretary has blatantly ignored basic facts.
It explained that those 12 individuals are all wanted persons suspected of committing serious crimes in Hong Kong. Instead of facing legal liability in Hong Kong, they have chosen to flee through illegal means to evade legal responsibility.
The Hong Kong SAR Government was shocked to hear the US secretary had said that they had committed no crimes.
It urged the US to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are internal matters of China.