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Consulate-General in the UK



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Chinese Embassy in UK
Home > Press and Media Service > Embassy Spokesperson's Remarks
Embassy Spokesperson's Remarks on the Wrong Remarks by the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Question: On January 6th, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab issued a statement, saying that the “mass arrest of politicians and activists” by Hong Kong police “is a grievous attack on Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms as protected under the Joint Declaration”, these arrests “demonstrate that the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities deliberately misled the world about the true purpose of the National Security Law” and the UK “will continue to offer British Nationals (Overseas) the right to live and work in the UK”. What is the comment of the Chinese Embassy in the UK?

Embassy Spokesperson: On January 6th, the Hong Kong police arrested 53 so-called “activists” on suspicion of subversion of state power under Article 22 of the National Security Law for the Hong Kong SAR. Among them was Benny Tai, who plotted and organized activities that aim at “paralyzing the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”. Subversion of state power is a crime that no country would tolerate. China upholds the rule of law. Hong Kong is a society under the rule of law. We firmly support the Hong Kong police in taking the relevant actions in accordance with law. The statement of the UK side contains groundless accusations against China, shows no respect for facts and blatantly interferes in the affairs of Hong Kong SAR. The Chinese side expresses its grave concern and strong opposition. I want to emphasize the following:

First, the National Security Law for the Hong Kong SAR was enacted to plug the legal loophole and establish a sound legal framework and enforcement mechanism for safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR. It targets the very few criminals that jeopardize national security and in no way undermines the legitimate rights or freedoms of Hong Kong residents. Rather, by bringing criminals to justice in accordance with law, it provides effective safeguards for these rights and freedoms. The enacting of this law marks a turning point for Hong Kong from chaos to law and order. Facts prove that only by implementing the National Security Law for the Hong Kong SAR fully, accurately, firmly and strictly can national security, social stability and tranquility, and the steady and sustained implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” be ensured, and long-term prosperity and stability in the Hong Kong SAR be achieved.

Second, in an MOU exchanged between China and the UK, the UK explicitly pledges that BNO passport holders who are Chinese citizens residing in Hong Kong shall not have the right of abode in the UK. In spite of this, and in total disregard of the strong opposition of the Chinese side, the UK is now bent on changing the relevant arrangement unilaterally. This obviously went against the UK’s own pledges and violated international law and the basic norms governing international relations. The Chinese side expresses its strong opposition and will take counter-measures, and the UK side will have to bear all the consequences.

Third, Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs and brook no interference by any foreign country in any form. The Chinese Government remains unwavering in its determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, fully and accurately implement “One Country, Two Systems”, and oppose any external interference in Hong Kong affairs. Attempts to interfere or mount pressure will not succeed. The Chinese side urges the UK side to recognize the fact that Hong Kong is now part of China, view the National Security Law and the lawful enforcement by Hong Kong police in an objective and fair manner, right its wrongs immediately and stop taking the Sino-British Joint Declaration as an excuse to interfere in the affairs of Hong Kong SAR, which are China’s internal affairs.

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