Improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is constitutional, lawful and justified, and is purely China's internal affair which no foreign country has the right to interfere in, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Britain Yang Xiaoguang said Tuesday.
Yang made the remarks at an online press briefing after a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) was submitted Friday for deliberation to national lawmakers during the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC).
Yang said Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China and how to develop and improve its electoral system is purely China's internal affair, which no foreign country has the right to interfere in.
Yang pointed out that improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong SAR and ensuring "patriots governing Hong Kong" is necessitated by the need to advance "One Country, Two Systems" and maintain long-term stability and security in Hong Kong.
"It is a constitutional power and responsibility of the NPC, and is constitutional, lawful and justified," Yang said.
In recent years, anti-China, destabilizing forces and radical localists in Hong Kong have openly clamored for "Hong Kong independence," Yang said, adding that they have used the election platforms of the Hong Kong SAR or their position as public servants to blatantly carry out anti-China, destabilizing activities to paralyze the functioning of the Legislative Council and obstruct the law-based governance of the Hong Kong SAR government.
Some foreign and external forces have brazenly interfered in Hong Kong affairs, and openly provided support for those anti-China, destabilizing forces in Hong Kong, Yang said.
These moves and activities have severely jeopardized the constitutional order and the rule of law in the Hong Kong SAR, put China's sovereignty, security and development interests into serious jeopardy, and severely disrupted the social stability of Hong Kong, he said.
These moves and activities reveal that the existing electoral system and mechanisms of the Hong Kong SAR have obvious loopholes and deficiencies, which were exploited by the anti-China, destabilizing forces to seize the power of governance of the Hong Kong SAR, he said.
In light of such a situation, China must take necessary measures to improve the electoral system of Hong Kong and remove existing institutional deficiencies and risks, Yang said.
"This will ensure the governance of Hong Kong by Hong Kong people with patriots as the main body, safeguard law-based and effective governance in Hong Kong, keep the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" on the right track, and lay a solid foundation for sustained stability and prosperity in Hong Kong," Yang said.
In response to questions by Chinese and foreign media, Yang said the Chinese side has realized that some countries have expressed so-called "concerns," or that some countries have even threatened sanctions against China.
"The so-called concerns are totally unacceptable. We firmly oppose any sanctions, and the so-called concerns are groundless and unreasonable. Hong Kong is part of China. Hong Kong affairs are totally China's internal affairs," he said.
"China does not interfere in other countries' internal affairs, neither can we allow other countries to intervene in our own affairs. This kind of concern in whatever form is basically a kind of intervention in China's internal affairs. We will never accept that," he added.
Yang stressed that the reform of the election system is to improve the situation in Hong Kong, which will guarantee the long-term stability of "One Country, Two Systems" and the functioning of the Hong Kong SAR government.
"This will also provide a peaceful and stable environment for all businesses. Businesses like predictability. We believe that with further predictability, and peace and stability ensured in Hong Kong, foreign investors will have more confidence in Hong Kong," he said.
Journalists from 17 media agencies in Britain attended the online press briefing, including BBC, Sky News, Financial Times, The Economist, Associated Press and AFP.