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Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Stated China's Solemn Position on the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China on the Qualification of Members of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK
2020/11/14

On November 13th, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming met with Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK. Ambassador Liu firmly rejected the UK’s groundless accusation against the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China on the qualification of members of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and stated China’s solemn position regarding the wrong words and actions of the UK.

Ambassador Liu pointed out that in recent days high-level officials of the FCDO have time and again made unwarranted accusation against the decision of the NPC Standing Committee of China on the qualification of Legislative Council members of Hong Kong SAR and blatantly interfered in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs. The Chinese side expresses its grave concern and firm opposition.

Ambassador Liu said, the NPC Standing Committee, as the highest organ of state power in China, has the right to rule on any constitutional issues in the implementation of the Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR and the National Security Law for Hong Kong SAR. The legal validity and authority of the NPC decision brooks no challenging. It is a basic political ethics in any country that holders of public office, legislators vested with legislative power in particular, shall uphold constitutional laws and pledge allegiance to the country. Nowhere in the world will holders of public office, legislators included, ever be allowed to breach their oath and betray their country, and get away with it. And it is a basic norm in any society under the rule of law that lawbreakers shall be held accountable. Here in the UK, the law clearly stipulates that members of the House of Lords and House of Commons shall take an oath to swear allegiance to the Crown before taking their seats. Without taking the oath, a member is unable to take the seat.

Certain Legislative Council members, including Dennis Kwok have gone against their oath, breached rules and defied the law. Their actions have disrupted the operation of the Legislative Council and obstructed normal operation of Hong Kong’s political system and administration. They have even refused to acknowledge China’s exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, begged foreign countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong, and stand against “One Country, Two Systems” and the Basic Law. Therefore, it is only just and completely necessary to withhold the qualification for these people in accordance with law. It is sheer “political farce” that 15 “opposition members” of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong staged a so-called joint resignation. This is met with opposition and despise from Hong Kong residents. Their attempts will never succeed.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The question of the qualification of Legislative Council members of Hong Kong SAR is China’s internal affair. The Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, are firmly opposed to any words or actions of foreign countries or external forces that interfere in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs.

Ambassador Liu stressed that by clinging to ideological bias, applying double standards and taking the Sino-British Joint Declaration as an excuse time and again to accuse China of “not fulfilling its international obligations”, the UK side is confusing right and wrong. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. China was the first country to put its signature on the UN Charter 75 years ago. As a responsible global player, China has joined almost all inter-governmental organizations and has been fulfilling its due international obligations. It is the UK side who, by interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs, time and again, has failed to perform its international obligations, undermined the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs enshrined in the UN Charter, and breached the basic norms governing international relations defined by a number of important documents between China and the UK including the China-UK Joint Communiqué on the Agreement on the Exchange of Ambassadors.

What must be pointed out is that, the core content of the Joint Declaration is China resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. All the rights and obligations regarding the UK in the Joint Declaration were fulfilled at the time of the handover. The Joint Declaration has eight articles with a total of 1,137 words. Not a single word or article gives the UK any responsibility over Hong Kong after the handover. The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of “supervision” over Hong Kong after the handover. Since the return of Hong Kong, the policies of “One Country, Two Systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy have been thoroughly implemented. Hong Kong residents now enjoy unprecedented democratic rights and extensive freedoms. These rights and freedoms are set forth in the Constitution of China and the Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR, not the Joint Declaration.

Ambassador Liu concluded that Hong Kong-related issues bear on China’s core interests. China will remain unwavering in its resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests. The Chinese side urges the UK side to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, so as to avoid going down the wrong path.

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