The Commissioner's Office urges some British politicians to change course and avoid going further down the wrong path

Some British politicians have made unwarranted remarks about national security legislation for Hong Kong in articles and interviews. In reply, the spokesperson of the Commissioner's Office expressed strong disapproval and firm opposition, saying the comments smack of prejudice, smear China's just and legitimate efforts to safeguard national security, and constitute an interference in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs.


The spokesperson said that since the return of Hong Kong, the Chinese government has stayed committed to policies of "One Country, Two Systems" and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" with a high degree of autonomy. Accordingly, Hong Kong people are enjoying unprecedented democratic rights and freedoms that would have been unimaginable back in the colonial era, and Hong Kong's status as an international financial, trading and shipping center has been constantly strengthened. Such achievements are part of the success story of "One Country, Two Systems", and have been made by Hong Kong people under the support of the motherland, through participating in the national reform and opening-up and modernization, and with their Lion Rock Spirit.


The spokesperson pointed out that the overall jurisdiction that the Central Government exercises over the HKSAR in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law is not limited to foreign affairs and defence. Legislation on national security falls within the state's legislative power in any country. While the Central Government authorizes the HKSAR to enact laws on its own to safeguard national security through Article 23 of the Basic Law, it does not change the fact that national security legislation is essentially within the purview of the Central Authorities, nor does it mean the Central Authorities have forfeited the power to safeguard national security.


The decision on the legislation was almost unanimously passed by the National People's Congress. Nearly 3 million Hong Kong citizens signed a petition endorsing it in eight days. The HKSAR Government, LegCo members, and business, education, culture, art and other communities have all expressed support, and ordinary citizens have applauded the decision. The Hang Seng Index has kept rising for several consecutive days. All these show that the legislation stands for the common aspiration of all Chinese people, including our Hong Kong compatriots, and have gained popular support among the majority of Hong Kong citizens. It is in line with the trend of the times and people's will. Therefore, the accusation that it is "imposed" and will undermine the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong is pure slander.


The spokesperson highlighted that the legislation targets only the small minority of criminals jeopardizing national security, while the overwhelming majority of law-abiding Hong Kong citizens will be protected. It will not affect Hong Kong citizen's rights and freedoms under the law, including freedoms of speech, the press, publication and assembly. Nor will it affect the independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication, exercised by the judiciary in Hong Kong. Any work or law enforcement efforts to safeguard national security will be conducted strictly in accordance with legal provisions, mandates and procedures. So for those who are not to split the country, subvert the state power, organize and carry out terrorist activities, or collude with external interfering forces, there is no reason to panic, still less intimidate others.


The spokesperson pointed out that the groundless remarks by some British politicians can in no way help to ease the tensions since the unrest following the proposed amendment bill last year. Quite the contrary, the outrageous violence committed by the radicals and "Hong Kong independence" organizations and arbitrary interference by external forces during the unrest have laid bare the yawning national security loophole in Hong Kong, and revealed the urgency of national security legislation for the HKSAR. The legislation is a crucial step to ensure Hong Kong's prosperity and stability in the long run, and to bolster the institutional foundation for the enduring success of "One Country, Two Systems".


The spokesperson reiterated that "One Country, Two Systems" has been adopted by the Chinese government and implemented in the HKSAR through enacting the Basic Law in accordance with the Constitution. The Sino-British Joint Declaration is an important instrument between China and the UK on China's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and arrangements for the transitional period. No single article in it grants the UK the right to interfere in Hong Kong affairs after its return. The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of "supervision" over Hong Kong after the latter returned to China. Foreign countries, including the UK, have no right to cite the Joint Declaration or so-called "moral" responsibilities to justify interference in Hong Kong affairs.


The spokesperson emphasized that no one shall underestimate China's strong will and firm determination to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security. Any external pressure or obstruction will be futile. We urge the British side to grasp the trend of the times and the will of Chinese people, respect China's just and legitimate efforts to safeguard national security, and avoid going further down the wrong path. Otherwise, it would only be hit back by all Chinese people, Hong Kong compatriots included.

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