The Commissioner's Office urges the UK to abandon colonial nostalgia and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs

The spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR expressed strong disapproval of and firm opposition against the so-called “six-monthly report on Hong Kong” released by the British government, which distorted the truth, blatantly meddled with Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs at large, and trampled upon principles including that of non-interference in international law and basic norms governing international relations.

The spokesperson said it is the Chinese government that has initiated, practiced and preserved “One Country, Two Systems”. No one cherishes more “One Country, Two Systems” and a prosperous and stable Hong Kong than us. The introduction of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR (National Security Law for the HKSAR) by the Central Authorities last year has effectively restored order and stability to Hong Kong society and tranquility and freedoms to its citizens. The improvement of Hong Kong’s electoral system at the central level and the smooth completion of local legislation by the HKSAR this year have plugged loopholes in the legal system, protected political stability and safety of the HKSAR’s body of power, and started a new chapter of good governance in Hong Kong. Both are fundamental measures that stay true to the original aspirations of “One Country, Two Systems” and safeguard the enduring success of the policy. Millions of Hong Kong citizens have signed petitions to show support, and such popular will is simply unstoppable.

The spokesperson pointed out that the UK has shown total disregard for the positive momentum in the Hong Kong situation and people’s longing for peace and stability, and chosen instead to openly meddle with Hong Kong affairs on the pretext of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Meanwhile, though, it has turned a blind eye to the dark past of its colonial rule in Hong Kong. For instance, was there any single governor who was independently elected by Hong Kong people during the over 150 years of British rule here? Were Hong Kong people ever guaranteed genuine rights and freedoms back then? Also, when the British government ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICCPR) in 1976, it made a reservation not to apply the provisions related to periodic elections to Hong Kong. Isn’t it ironic that it should claim to care about Hong Kong’s democracy now? And isn’t it ridiculous that the UK, while paying lip service to the rule of law, should try to exonerate the anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong who violated the law and exert pressure on judicial proceedings in the HKSAR, dismissing the core principle that laws shall be strictly abided by and that any lawbreaker shall be held accountable?

The spokesperson pointed out that the legal grounds for the Chinese government's governance of the HKSAR since the city’s return are the Constitution of the PRC and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The Joint Declaration is essentially about China's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and arrangements for the transitional period. In all its eight paragraphs and three annexes, there is no single word or article that confers any right on the UK to interfere in Hong Kong affairs. The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong after its return. Therefore, it is a pure distortion of history and law for the UK to claim any “obligation” over Hong Kong citing the Joint Declaration.

The spokesperson emphasized that Hong Kong is part of China, and its affairs are China’s internal affairs. With the implementation of the National Security Law for the HKSAR and the improvement of the HKSAR’s electoral system, and as the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Greater Bay Area Initiative are translated into reality at a faster pace, Hong Kong will surely undergo a major transformation from chaos to stability and further to prosperity. Any external force wishing Hong Kong and China at large ill is doomed to be disillusioned. We urge the UK to face up to the trend of the times, abandon colonial nostalgia, immediately change course, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs as a whole.

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