China has categorically rejected accusations from the United Kingdom government about the national security law for Hong Kong, saying they are unwarranted while underscoring Beijing's solemn position regarding the UK's incorrect remarks and deeds.
The position of the Chinese government was outlined by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming on Wednesday during a meeting with Simon McDonald, permanent undersecretary to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Liu said recent remarks by the UK about the national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region were "irresponsible and unwarranted".
"They represent a gross interference in China's internal affairs and run counter to the important principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in each other's internal affairs endorsed by the UN Charter and the Joint Communique of the UK and China on exchange of ambassadors," Liu said. "The Chinese side expresses its grave concern and strong opposition."
China's top diplomat in the UK said it is always the case that the central government of a country is responsible for upholding national security.
"The national security law for the Hong Kong SAR is timely, necessary and reasonable," he said. "This is the fundamental solution that will end the chaos and restore order in Hong Kong. It demonstrates the inherent requirements of 'one country, two systems' and will ensure the steady and sustained implementation of this important policy."
The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR was passed unanimously on Tuesday at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
With 66 articles in six chapters, the law clearly defines the duties and government bodies of the SAR for safeguarding national security and lists four categories of offence: secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security. It also sets out potential penalties.
Liu explained that the law will target "a very few criminals but protect the vast majority of Hong Kong people" and said it "fulfills the aspiration of Hong Kong residents for a safer, better, and more prosperous Hong Kong, and answers their call for better security safeguards, so that they can enjoy and exercise their statutory rights and freedom".
The ambassador stressed the core content of the Sino-British Joint Declaration was to make sure that Hong Kong returns to China.
"Not a single word or paragraph in the Joint Declaration gives the UK any responsibility over Hong Kong after its handover," he said.
The ambassador said the UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction, or right of supervision over Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China," he said. "Its affairs are purely China's internal affairs and brook no external interference.
China remains unwavering in its determination to safeguard its national sovereignty, security, and development interests. The Chinese side urges the UK side to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are internal affairs of China."