China strongly opposes Blinken's criticism of Article 23

2024-03-26 09:01:05Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's Foreign Ministry voiced strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition on Monday to U.S.' repeated slander and smear of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance that just took effect on Saturday in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region following the latest statement from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticizing the legislation. The ministry's spokesperson called the statement "nothing but blatant political manipulation and hypocritical double standards."

The ordinance strikes a balance between maintaining national security and safeguarding rights and freedoms as well as economic development, which fully draws on the legislative experiences of other countries, especially those with common law systems, fully respects and protects rights, clearly defines the elements of crimes, and distinctly delineates what constitutes a crime and what does not, Lin Jian, the spokesperson of the ministry, told a press conference on Monday.

The law effectively protects the legitimate business activities and international interactions of foreign institutions, organizations and individuals in Hong Kong. It does not affect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, nor does it change Hong Kong's capitalist system and way of life, Lin said.

It is beneficial for Hong Kong to better leverage its unique position and advantages, deepen exchanges and cooperation with other countries and regions, and further consolidate its status as an international financial, shipping and trade center, the spokesperson added.

In a statement released on Friday local time, Blinken said the U.S. expresses deep concern over Hong Kong authorities' enactment of national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law.

This law will have broad implications for the people in Hong Kong as well as U.S. citizens and companies operating there and threatens to further undermine the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong, which includes vaguely defined provisions regarding "sedition," "state secrets," and interactions with foreign entities that could be used to curb dissent, according to the statement.

The U.S. has an impervious national security system, with an unparalleled number of laws and extensive extraterritorial reach, yet it points fingers at and meddles in the issue of Hong Kong's enactment of the ordinance. This is nothing but blatant political manipulation and hypocritical double standards, Lin said.

The spokesperson stressed that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs, and no foreign country has the right to interfere. The Chinese government's determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests is unwavering, and its commitment to the "One Country, Two Systems'' principle is steadfast.

We urge the U.S. to respect China's sovereignty and Hong Kong's rule of law, adhere to the principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal matters, Lin said.

With the implementation of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, signifying that Hong Kong has fulfilled its constitutional responsibility as stipulated in the Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong officials have also stepped up efforts in countering Western attacks and smears targeting the new law, emphasizing that foreign companies are still eager to invest in the city despite political maneuvers made by some Western politicians.

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