Government officials and political heavyweights strongly condemned a United States report and so-called "hearing" that smeared Hong Kong's judicial system and threatened to sanction Hong Kong judges.
They stressed that Hong Kong's judicial independence brooks no interference, and the malicious and despicable trick could not change the Chinese people's resolve to safeguard national security and ensure the sustained success of the "one country, two systems" principle.
The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China released a report on Thursday and also held a "hearing", during which it criticized 29 Hong Kong judges and judicial officers who have handled national security-related cases, including the city's Chief Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung. The commission also demanded that the US government consider imposing sanctions on the judges.
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council dismissed on Sunday the US report's smearing of Hong Kong's judicial system, saying the central government firmly supports the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's judiciary in performing its duty in an independent and impartial manner, and never allows US politicians to interfere in the SAR's judicial independence.
The office's spokesperson said the National Security Law for Hong Kong has helped the city restore social stability, uphold its rule of law and protect the rights and interests enjoyed by Hong Kong people and overseas investors.
However, the spokesperson said, some US politicians have tried every means to interfere with Hong Kong's law enforcement and judicial works, in order to help those who endanger national security and the stability of Hong Kong escape responsibility for their crimes and to try to contain the development of the city and the nation.
The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR said the report is another rude interference in the internal affairs of China and the Hong Kong SAR.
The US politicians' attempts to obstruct the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, disrupt the judicial order in Hong Kong and interfere with the city's independent adjudication of judges is a blatant blasphemy against the spirit of the rule of law, the liaison office said.
A spokesperson for the Commissioner's Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong SAR said no sanctions or pressure could change the firm determination of the Chinese side to safeguard the prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong SAR and ensure the sustained success of "one country, two systems".
Foreign intimidation will only make the Chinese people even more united, and all foreign interference will only fall flat, the office said.
In a separate statement, the Hong Kong SAR government said the threat of imposing so-called "sanctions" on judges did not only expose the hypocrisy and double standard of some US politicians, who claim to uphold the rule of law but have seriously damaged it with political manipulation, but also is a serious violation of the basic principles of international law and international relations.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the city's largest political group, said it firmly supports Hong Kong judges in continuing to perform their duties. The group also urged the Hong Kong government to take necessary measures to protect judges from external interference and safeguard the city's judicial system.
Lawmaker Stanley Ng Chau-pei, who also chairs the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, the SAR's largest labor union, said the attempt by US politicians to interfere in Hong Kong's national security trials with threats will not affect Hong Kong people's resolve to safeguard national security, safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and uphold the Constitution, the Basic Law and the National Security Law for Hong Kong.