The spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Friday expressed strong disapproval of and firm opposition to the unwarranted remarks made by politicians in a very few countries, who used press freedom as a pretext to smear the Hong Kong police's law enforcement actions against five executives of Apple Daily and related companies, and even called for their immediate release.
It is a malicious obstruction of the HKSAR law enforcement authorities' performance of duty, an assault on Hong Kong's rule of law and judicial independence, an insult to the rule of law spirit, and a flagrant interference in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that Hong Kong is governed by the rule of law, where laws shall be abided by and rigorously enforced, and no one shall be above the law. Press freedom should not be an excuse for engaging in illegal activities, and the authority of the national security law for the HKSAR is not to be challenged.
The Hong Kong police's actions against the related individuals and companies are aimed to combat crimes endangering national security, and have nothing to do with press freedom, said the spokesperson.
The law enforcement and judicial authorities in the HKSAR will handle the cases impartially and justly in strict accordance with facts and the law, and external forces are in no place to make groundless accusations, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson pointed out that the few countries are only self-proclaimed champions of press freedom. While paying lip service, they have frequently restricted lawful journalism activities on national security grounds, clamped down on voices for justice, churned out fake news, and vilified other countries.
What qualification do they have to pass judgment on others? Facts have proven once and again that the freedoms they advocate are freedoms to interfere in other countries' internal affairs, and freedoms to collude with anti-China troublemakers messing up Hong Kong to sabotage Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson emphasized that no noise, interference or pressure from external forces will ever sway the firm determination of the Central and the SAR governments to safeguard national security and fully and faithfully implement "one country, two systems."
"We urge politicians in the few countries to abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, immediately stop their clumsy show of condoning anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong, stop futile attempts to disrupt the rule of law and judicial independence of the HKSAR, and stop meddling with Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs as a whole," the spokesperson said.