China 'strongly objects' to UK's six-monthly report on Hong Kong
Updated 19:09, 12-Jun-2020

China's Foreign Ministry hit back on Friday at a report by Britain criticizing Beijing's decision over a national security legislation, saying it strongly objects any foreign interference in China's domestic affairs and that it's determined to push for the legislation to defend China's national security.

China strongly rejects the so-called six-monthly report on Hong Kong, which is intended to interfere in China's domestic affair and Hong Kong's affair, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily briefing, when asked about the report submitted by British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, to the UK parliament on Thursday.

In the report, Raab warned that China's plans to impose new security laws bypassing the Hong Kong legislature are in direct conflict with international law.

The report said the national security legislation was a clear violation of China's international obligations and a breach of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.

The UK foreign secretary also warned China not to interfere in the Hong Kong legislature elections due to take place in September saying "they must be free, fair and without violence or intimidation."

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government issued a statement on Friday rebuffing the report, calling the report "inaccurate and biased" and reiterated that the city enjoys a high degree of autonomy.

"The national security law helps better protect the legitimate rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people, restore stability in Hong Kong, and safeguard the long-term prosperity and stability of the city," read the statement.

"The implementation of the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle in the HKSAR is entirely the internal affairs of the PRC. Every other state has no right to intervene, directly or indirectly, in those internal affairs." 

Radical protesters outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, November 16, 2019. /Reuters

Radical protesters outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, November 16, 2019. /Reuters

The UK should face the fact that Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 and Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong, and it has no sovereignty or power of supervision over the city, Hua said.

The UK government should stop the interference and respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, she added.

"The more interference (we see) in Hong Kong's affairs, the more determined the central government is to advance the national security legislation."

Asked whether the legislation is a violation of the "One Country, Two Systems," Hua said it's the jurisdiction of the central government to enact laws on national security, as all other nations do, and current laws in Hong Kong are nowhere near adequate to deal with issues related to national security.

"The central government had authorized the Hong Kong SAR government to complete national security legislation but it hasn't been able to advance the legislation over the past 23 years. It is the central government's responsibility to fill in the loophole in national security."

There has been an increasing threat on national security in Hong Kong since last year, with some advocating "Hong Kong independence," as well as foreign interference harming the national security, Hua noted.

The hard fact is that advancing the legislation is necessary and imperative, and the decision was supported by more than three million people in Hong Kong within eight days as well as foreign companies operating in the city, Hua added.

The only group that opposes the legislation is external forces and certain politicians, because they are afraid that they won't be able to boldly interfere in Hong Kong's affairs any more, Hua said.

It only approves the necessity of such legislation, she added.

Speaking to the parliament on Thursday, Raab said Britain is trying to build a diplomatic alliance against the legislation and it has been joined by countries including the United States. 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday he was working on measures that could restrict capital flows through the territory.

Asked on the U.S. latest measure to press China to drop the legislation and whether China would take countermeasure, Hua said China is firmly committed to advance the legislation and the U.S. has no right to interfere in China's domestic affairs.

The U.S. holds tremendous interests in Hong Kong, and it has obtained a large trade surplus from the city. If the U.S. government took actions to harm Hong Kong's interest, it would only harm its own interest, she said.