China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region(HKSAR) government Friday refuted remarks by some foreign officials and politicians, saying that they were totally unfounded and amounted to a serious intervention in Hong Kong's affairs. The HKSAR government strongly disagreed with the grossly irresponsible remarks and expressed deep regret about them.
The HKSAR government issued a statement on Friday in response to recent allegations made by certain officials and politicians in the U.S., Britain and European Parliament relating to a Hong Kong police's arrest operation and other security matters.
A spokesperson of the HKSAR government pointed out in the statement that since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the HKSAR had maintained stability and prosperity under the principle of "one country, two systems", exercising "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy in strict accordance with the Basic Law of the HKSAR.
The spokesperson said that the central government has time and again reiterated that it will unswervingly implement the policy of "one country, two systems", and make sure that it is fully and faithfully implemented in Hong Kong without being bent or distorted.
The spokesperson said that the people of Hong Kong enjoy extensive rights and freedoms which are enshrined in the Basic Law. In addition, human rights and freedoms in Hong Kong are fully protected by the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other legislation, and underpinned by an independent judiciary.
The spokesperson said that the HKSAR government always respects and protects human rights and freedoms. Any allegation that there has been an erosion in freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong people is unfounded.
"We therefore take great exception to comments made by officials and politicians in foreign countries concerning the recent arrests and prosecution of a number of persons for organizing and participating in unauthorised assemblies in Hong Kong. The allegation by some that those arrests amounted to an attack on Hong Kong's freedoms and a breach of the Basic Law is absurd and can hardly stand the test of any law-abiding jurisdiction," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that the guarantee of judicial independence is explicitly set out in the Basic Law and the quality of the judgments of Hong Kong courts contribute to the much respected judiciary and rule of law in the HKSAR.
"We therefore note with abhorrence certain overseas politicians' request that the HKSAR government should drop the charges against the arrested individuals. If we were to accede or to be seen to yield to such unreasonable demands, we would not only be unfair and unprofessional but would also act in violation of the spirit of the rule of law - a core value in Hong Kong."
On legislating for Article 23 of the Basic Law, the spokesperson said, "the HKSAR government has the constitutional duty to ensure that the necessary legislation is in place to safeguard national security. Having laws in place to protect national security is common in many jurisdictions, and we do not see how any defence of sovereignty and security by a jurisdiction would impact on its local and overseas investment."
The spokesperson pointed out that the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council (HKMAO) and the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government (LOCPG) in the HKSAR represent the Central People's Government (CPG). These offices have the power and responsibility over the proper and full implementation of the Basic Law and "one country, two systems" in the HKSAR.
It is therefore clearly legitimate for the HKMAO and the LOCPG to recently express their concerns over the prolonged paralysis of the House Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo), thereby hindering the LegCo's performance of its legislative functions under the Basic Law.
"Any suggestion that those legitimate remarks by the HKMAO and the LOCPG amount to interference only illustrates an ignorance of the constitutional order of the HKSAR and its relationship with the central authorities," the spokesperson added.