Commissioner's Office urges external interfering forces to immediately stop undermining Hong Kong's rule of law on the pretext of press freedom

The spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR firmly opposed the unwarranted remarks made by a very few Western politicians and foreign media organizations, who vilified the Hong Kong police's law enforcement actions against five executives of Apple Daily and related companies in a blatant interference in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs. The spokesperson pointed out that whatever tricks external interfering forces may play, the HKSAR's dedication to staunchly enforcing the law will not waver, nor will China's firm commitment to safeguarding national security.

The spokesperson said the HKSAR Government and the police have made it clear that those arrested are suspected of conspiring to endanger national security by colluding with foreign forces via publishing dozens of articles on Apple Daily and circulating them through media platforms, and urging foreign countries to impose sanctions on or take other hostile activities against the HKSAR and the People's Republic of China. The HKSAR Government has also issued notices to freeze offense-related assets. The Commissioner's Office firmly supports the just law enforcement efforts by the HKSAR Government and the police, and firmly supports the necessary measures taken to defend national security and the continued success of "One Country, Two Systems".

The spokesperson pointed out that the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR targets a small handful of anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong who pose grave threat to national security, and protects the lawful rights and freedoms of the vast majority of Hong Kong residents, press freedom included. Hong Kong is governed by the rule of law, where laws shall be strictly abided by and any lawbreaker shall be held accountable. No one shall be above the law or endanger national security under any pretext, no organization is not subject to the law, and no external force is allowed to meddle with Hong Kong's rule of law. The facts are clear and the evidence solid, and the cases have nothing to do with press freedom. Some external forces, however, have exploited the cases and distorted the truth, smearing Hong Kong's press freedom and even spreading rumor about so-called "chilling effects". But it has only laid bare their ulterior motive to disrupt the rule of law in Hong Kong on the pretext of press freedom, in a bid to obstruct the HKSAR Government's law-based governance and undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. Such attempts are doomed to fail.

The spokesperson emphasized that Hong Kong is part of China and is under the rule of law. The trend for the city to set things right and transform from chaos to stability to prosperity is simply unstoppable. We again urge some external forces to earnestly respect the rule of law, know their place, keep their hands off Hong Kong, and stop sabotaging Hong Kong's prosperity and stability or interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs as a whole in any form.

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