An official in charge of the Office of the Commissioner of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Saturday condemned Chris Patten, former British governor of Hong Kong, over "absurd" remarks on the Hong Kong situation, urging him to respect the facts and stop "lying and misbehaving."
"Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the Chinese central government has always acted in accordance with the constitution and the basic law, and unswervingly implemented the 'one country, two systems' principle – 'Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong '," said the official in a statement on the office's website.
Undeniable fact: Prosperity, stability and freedom since HK's return
Hong Kong has maintained its prosperity and stability and its international influence and competitiveness have greatly improved, the official said.
According to the statement, Hong Kong doubled its total economic output since its return, has been ranked among the world's freest economies for more than 20 years, and its global ranking of rule of law has jumped from below 60th in 1996 to 16th in 2018.
Patten can't deny the fact that Hong Kong people have changed from "second class" in the colonial period and are now enjoying democratic rights and freedoms according to law that were not available in the colonial period, the official said.
Residents rally at police headquarters in Hong Kong on Wednesday, calling for the arrest of protesters who participated in recent violence. The banner reads "Champion Hong Kong with concerted efforts". [Photo/China Daily]
No democracy in British colonial period
The official reminded Patten that Hong Kong had no democracy at all during 159 years of colonial rule by the British.
The official also questioned if Hong Kong people ever had the right to elect leaders and legislatures independently during the colonial period and if Patten, as the last colonial governor of Hong Kong, was elected democratically.
It is shameless and absurd that the last colonial governor of Hong Kong criticized the lack of democracy and freedom in Hong Kong after the return instead of reflecting on the undemocratic and non-liberal conditions of his own rule over Hong Kong, and took himself as the "guardian" of Hong Kong's human rights and freedoms, the statement said.