China urges U.S. to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs
China urges the U.S. to stop issuing annual reports on China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and stop interfering in HKSAR affairs and other internal affairs of China, Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said on Monday.
Mao made the remarks in response to the so-called "2023 Hong Kong Policy Act Report" issued by the U.S. Department of State.
Mao said that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China and its affairs are purely China's internal affairs which brook no foreign interference. The report issued by the U.S. disregards facts, makes irresponsible remarks, and levels groundless accusations at the Chinese central government and the HKSAR government, she added.
"China strongly deplores this and firmly rejects this," Mao said.
Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the principles of "One Country, Two Systems" and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" have been implemented with a high degree of autonomy, and the rights and freedoms of its residents have been fully protected in accordance with the law, Mao said.
"The Chinese government acts in strict accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law and is firm in fully and faithfully implementing the policy of 'One Country, Two Systems,'" she said.
China has also formulated and implemented the legislation on safeguarding national security in the HKSAR and improved the region's electoral system. These measures are aimed at safeguarding HKSAR's prosperity and stability and ensuring the steady and sustained implementation of "One Country, Two Systems," Mao said.
"The legislation on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong targets a handful of criminals endangering our national security and protects the lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and foreign nationals in the SAR," she said.
The new electoral system is good because it is consistent with "One Country, Two Systems" and suitable for the HKSAR's actualities. It promotes solidarity and harmony in the HKSAR and demonstrates the true spirit of democracy, the spokesperson said.
"Since we implemented the legislation and improved the electoral system, Hong Kong's rule of law and business environment have been improving, and the region continues to rank among the best in the world in terms of rule of law," Mao said.
She added that foreign investors are more confident in the HKSAR, further consolidating the region's status as an international financial, trade and shipping hub. "These are all undeniable facts. There's more we can expect from Hong Kong in the future," Mao said.
(Cover: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning takes questions at a regular press briefing in Beijing, China, April 3, 2023. /Chinese Foreign Ministry)